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New! December 31, 2009
This was another shortened week, but there was certainly enough time for lots of story, drama and fun. Since I took off for vacation early last week, I'm starting this week's blog discussing Christmas in Salem.

Family Fun Brady said it best last week, "I love Christmas at the Kiriakis mansion." Vivian's callous remarks to Chloe, and Brady's sarcastic, yet astute observation about Vivian to a disdainful Victor, "At least Arianna didn't bury someone alive," were fantastic. Then there was Victor's reaction to Philip's announcement that he was engaged. He pretty much said what I was thinking when he noted Philip and Melanie could use the church the same day he and Stephanie previously reserved it and wondered if the engaged couple had even been on a date. Then Stefano and Kate joined in on the fun and the holiday was complete. Speaking of Kate, she's quite the dotting wife to Stefano for someone who was blackmailed into getting married.

Pick One Already I'm really tired of all the flip-flopping they are doing with Melanie: She was with Nathan, but longed for Philip. Now she's actually engaged to Philip but longing for Nathan. I'd really like TPTB to make up their minds and give her one man she loves and be done with it, at least for a couple of months anyway. However, Philip and Melanie's sudden engagement has provided some fun scenes between Vivian and Kate, as they both tried to bully their way into planning the wedding.

Honesty There seems to be no secrets between Brady and Arianna, which is so rare for a soap couple. He knows about her drug dealing and she knows everything he does for Nicole and that he still has feelings for her. They are aware of each other's flaws and issues, but are still together, which is nice to see. As much as I like them, it's a little too soon in the relationship for Arianna to be giving him grandpa's cufflinks though isn't it?

EJ  I'm enjoying Arianna's fondness for EJ and think it's an interesting twist considering Brady hates him and he is her secret drug lord. And how handy was it that one of EJ's goons came up with software that could dismantle someone else's phone, just in time to erase the info on Troy's cell after Arianna gave it to Roman? That was really kind of hilarious.

Speaking of EJ, I'm really buying his devastation over losing Sydney. Sami's tears convey her worry and sadness as well, but she's too perky in between crying jags for me. However, EJ's face conveys how torn up he is at all times.

More Lies for Sami  I do wish Sami would tell Rafe about the ransom note EJ received. He's been there every step of the way with her working like a dog to try and find her daughter and she's keeping him in the dark. This cannot bode well for them. I am glad Rafe and Carly finally ran into each other and would like to see more of them together. Maybe he can turn to her when he learns Sami's been working with EJ behind his back.

Carly/Bo/Hope/Justin As for Carly and Bo, I'm not sure why, but all of a sudden I'm becoming more interested in this story. I'm not entirely buying why Hope and Bo can't reconcile, but I loved her getting feisty when she saw Bo kiss Carly and I’m enjoying her and Justin teaming up to figure out what Vivian's up to. It's shaken things up a bit and become a bit more fun. I could dig a Hope/Justin and Bo/Carly pairing for awhile.

With all of these characters being portrayed by the original actors, it was great fun to watch all the flashbacks this week. New viewers were treated to some of their history for the first time, while old viewers were treated to a walk down memory lane. This is the way to use flashbacks –not to show us something that happened yesterday.

Another Side to Mia I hope Mia's jealousy over Gabi makes her a bit more Nicole-like. Maybe not to the extent Nicole does crazy things, but manipulating people to get what she wants might not be so bad to see for this normally sugary sweet good girl. A little bit of an edge would make her a lot more interesting in my book. I was happy to hear her talk about her mother to Maggie as well. I 'd like to get to the bottom of her family background, which I don't think involves Carly.

Spoiler Alert Sadly, all the talk of Mickey, coupled with a flashback of John Clarke, the actor who originated and is most associated with the role, does not bode well for the character. Mickey will in fact die and kick off a major story for his widow Maggie. As much as I enjoy it, I'll be happy to see her do something other than counsel the youth of Salem.

That's all I got this time around. Have a wonderful New Year and we'll be back in 2010 with more thoughts on Days!

December 24, 2009
I'm heading out of town for the holidays, so I didn't see anything that happened after Wednesday. Though I missed the holiday episodes, I will be back next week to discuss the festive events.

Down and Out: I'm finding I like the broken side to EJ and Nicole. Don't get me wrong, I love when they are flippant and sarcastic, but after all the histrionics of late, seeing them subdued and devastated is kind of a nice change of pace. EJ was evidently destroyed as he apologized to Arianna for accusing her of kidnapping Sydney, as was Nicole as she fretted for her 'baby' in jail. We don't see many larger than life characters reduced to such defeat, which makes it all the more effective.

Round Two? Carly admitted to Bo she was falling in love with him again. I'm not sure I feel it even on her part yet, so I was really glad Bo didn't seem tempted to say it back at all. I don't really feel like that's where this storyline is going, since Bo still seems so devoted to Hope, even though he admitted they might be through. I wouldn't mind seeing Bo and Carly get together, but I'm not sensing much chemistry beyond friendship at this point. I am however enjoying Hope being territorial with Bo and hope her feistiness remains.

Alone For the Holidays: I'm really sad for Justin. He's so alone and it was compounded when Philip had to turn him down for the football game. I liked that Justin reached out to his cousin, but I did have to think about how they were related for a second, so I hope they have more bonding scenes together. I thought Adrienne was kind of heartless to not let Justin spend the holidays with his kids. Maybe he and Hope get festive together.

The Teen Set: I already prefer Chad with Gabi. And I think I would like to see Mia with T. He has more personality than either Chad or Will, which helps in balancing out Mia's meekness. I think that's why I like Chad with Gabi as well. Her spunkiness offsets his broody, angsty vibe better than the equally whiny Mia.

Trouble in Paradise? Brady and Arianna are still fun for me to watch and I'm rooting for them as a couple, but it's clear Brady still can't completely break away from Nicole. He looked crushed when she admitted she still loved EJ when he visited her in jail, but since he's 'addicted', he offered to pay for her attorney. I can't imagine Sami will approve of that move and imagine it will continue to be a bone of contention between him and Arianna. \

Sydney's New Caretaker Well, apparently Anna has still been in town since we last saw her after Tony's death months and months ago. She hasn't been seen on air, but Roman knew she'd be around since he called her up to have dinner. I get that she wants Stefano to pay for his treatment of Tony, but isn't she hurting EJ and Sami more by taking their baby? I don't think they deserve what she's doing to them in the name of Tony.

My favorite character on the show right now is hands down Sydney. The babies who play her have got to be the most adorable kids on Daytime. I love any scene with Sydney and the twins really seem to take to Leann Hunley (Anna) quite well.

A Quick Courtship: I was happy for the scene where Melanie was talking to Max on the phone. He was her only connection to Salem in the beginning and is her only family, so it was sweet listening to her discuss Christmas with him and telling him she loved him. As for her and Philip, as much as I've hated his flip-flopping on the ladies, I am enjoying him and Melanie together, but isn't a marriage proposal a bit too soon? I just hope he doesn't dump her next week, start sniffing around, say, Arianna and then discuss her with Melanie. It seems to be a pattern with him.

That's it for me this time. I'll be back next week to discuss all the latest developments in Salem. In the meantime, keep your eye out for Matt's Musings, which will be posted on Soaps.com Days of our Lives news page this week - and have a wonderful holiday!

December 11, 2009
This week wasn't horribly exciting or interesting to me, but some things did catch my attention.

A Breakthrough Understatement of the year goes to Brady: "I know people think Nicole can put some things past me." Ha! EJ's deadpan response was truly great: "Really?" I laughed out loud.

I've wanted to like Brady and have been on his side since he first returned to Salem, but he hasn't done much to really invest me in his character. This week, however, I finally saw an emotionally distraught side to him that endeared him to me. His feelings for Nicole and Ari's observation that he is addicted to her makes him more complex and so much more interesting than when he first returned. I hope this continues.

Tears of a Villain: Stefano's tears are too much for me. I believe he cares about Sydney because she is his flesh and blood but he is not a crier to me. I wouldn't mind seeing him get chocked up, but then he should rein it in and present a strong front. That's who Stefano is in my mind. He is about possession and power, even when it comes to family. Emotions are not part of his character.

Rafe Sums it Up: I loved Rafe's exasperation and rolling his eyes at Nicole passing out at the bus station when he tried to get her to talk. It's pretty much how I feel right now. This story needs to end. I'm tried of everyone threatening and screaming at everyone else, as well as Nicole's weepiness. Mostly, I just want Nicole to go back to the strong, take-no-crap character she used to be.

EJ Stands Alone: It was interesting to watch everyone leave the hospital after Nicole was taken away, leaving EJ all alone. He truly has no one. His daughter is missing, he hates his formerly beloved father, his wife is going to jail for stealing his baby and his Samantha is with Rafe. What's a poor lonely, seething DiMera to do? Could he be behind Sydney's disappearance and he's just putting on a really good show for everyone? Speaking of, how adorable was she when her captor's phone rang? It doesn't get much cuter. 

12 Steps: Lucas returned from rehab and I was surprisingly happy to see him. Especially since he got his haircut – I totally prefer it shorter. It's good to see him trying to make amends with his son and his son's girlfriend. I just hope they give him something to do now that doesn't involve him playing the sap.

Alternative Storylines: I'm still not all that fired up about Carly's return, or her daughter, or Bo and Hope's separation. I don't hate the story, but I don't love it either. Justin and Carly's confrontation was interesting though, but it really just made me wish they'd bring their children on the show. Nicholas should be around, especially since his father just died, or more accurately, since his mother just killed his father. I know we have the mystery of which young lady is Carly's daughter, but wouldn't it be just as relevant and maybe even more engaging right now to watch Carly dodge her son's inquiries about how his father really died? And I would like to see Justin interact with his children. If we can't get Adrienne back, how about a kid or two? Hopefully, they'll cast some of these offspring in the near future. I did love that Justin's attempt at meddling with Carly's career blew up in his face, as she obviously has a past with Daniel. Could that past have a name? Mia or Melanie perhaps?

Carly in Venice: As for Carly, or more to the point, her portrayer Crystal Chappell, have you seen her web series 'Venice?' It truly seems to be what every Otalia fan was hoping for on Guiding Light. The opening scene is of her Jessica Leccia's (ex-Natalia, GL)  characters making out in bed. I can see why Guiding Light might have been afraid of airing more affection between these two actresses because even though all they did was kiss, it was hotter than anything I've seen on Daytime in a really long time. If you're an Otalia, or just a Crystal Chappell fan, I suggest you check it out. Galen Gering (Rafe) is also in it, but we didn't learn much about his character in the first episode. I'm sure that will change though.

Comic Relief: We need more of Vivian and Victor. Their one-liners and zingers are too much fun!

That's all I got for this week.  I'll be back in two weeks for more of my take on Days, but in the meantime, check out Christine's Days Of Our Lives Weekly Blog on Soaps.com this week and Matt's Musings (Days of our Lives Weekly Thoughts) next Friday.

November 27, 2009
This week was a bit shorter due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but there was plenty of time for reveals, returns, humor, and of course, drama.

Vivian's back: This really was the highlight of the week for me, as she's just the humor the show needs. Victor is funny when he's making digs at people, but now he's got a sparring partner in Vivian, making it all the more fun to watch. Their initial banter upon getting reacquainted was seamless and entertaining and I can't wait to enjoy their future antics.

Carly's Secret: We learned what was behind Carly's motivation for returning to Salem as she is moving into Maggie's to be close to her daughter, but we don't know who she is: Mia or Melanie. I really want it to be Melanie because I feel her pain and longing for love more than I do Mia's. She really could use a strong female influence and someone to help guide and support her, aside from Maggie that is. The same could be said for Mia, but I think Molly Burnett (Melanie) has the ability to carry off the emotional weight of the situation more so than Taylor Spreitler (Mia).

The Teens: I felt bad for Mia when she mourned her baby with Chad and I thought Chad asking Will about Grace was touching, but I so wish they could find a way to age Chad out of the high school set. I feel like he is Mia and Will's older brother, rather than their peer. Is there some way to SORAS a character without recasting?

No Privacy at the Brady Pub: Adding to the teen scene, Rafe and Arianna's sister Gabi came to town. I think she has possibilities and can maybe get involved with Will and Mia, but I'm mostly impressed with her because she didn't come off as a brash obnoxious teen like so many others start out as. It's also nice to hear more about the Hernandez's backstory and learn a little about their family, as it adds more depth to the characters. Maybe we'll get to meet their mother one day too.

I found it funny that Gabi just walked into Arianna's room and found the drugs. Does Caroline not believe in putting locks on her tenants' doors? And if there are locks, wouldn't Arianna make sure her room was deadbolted so no one would find her stash? I had to laugh because even though she didn't lock her door, Arianna returned to find her siblings in her room with keys in her hand. What did she need them for?

Poor Brady: This week ended my sympathy for Nicole, as she's just scrambling now, and switched over to Brady. While I never really understood his great love for Nicole and was surprised they didn't do more with his connection to Chloe instead, I understand him loving someone he knows he probably shouldn't and winced at his pain over learning the extent of Nicole playing him. Then he had to face Sami and admit he was the one who posted Nicole's bail, freeing her to kidnap Sydney. I wonder if this will lead to him turning to drugs again. While I don't usually enjoy addiction stories, it would be interesting to watch Brady deal with his demons and focus on himself, rather than the damsels in distress in his life.

Father: I expected EJ to be furious with Stefano regarding him helping Nicole keep the secret about Sydney, but I didn't expect the attempt on his father's life. His anger was so raw, he tried to strangle his father, but luckily for Stefano, Kate was there to stop it. While I enjoy EJ and Stefano's dynamic, I am liking the rift in their relationship and hope it continues so EJ can be his own man, actually move out of the mansion and run his own life.

Dumbing it Down: The scene where Sami and EJ left the room Sydney was in allowing Nicole to kidnap her was so contrived it was ridiculous. The dialogue was awkward and obvious, as Sami explained they were exiting so they wouldn't disturb Sydney, but the audience knew it was really to give Nicole opportunity.

It also really stuck out when Gabi dramatically pointed at Arianna to tell Rafe she was the reason she was leaving Salem, just so Sami could see the bracelet Nicole gave her. I never really understand why soaps need to be so obvious all the time. Couldn't Sami have shook Gabi's hand upon meeting her, thereby taking note of the bracelet, or something else a little less glaring?

Other Tidbits: I liked that Hope went through Carly's bag and is acting a bit more tough instead of weepy and whiny with Bo; I'm not at all invested in the quadrangle that is forming between Nathan, Melanie, Philip and Stephanie; and I have to get Nicole's secret for turning her very blonde hair to jet-black with such ease. I've tried before, garnering much more disastrous results.

That's all I got for this week.  I'll be back in two weeks for more of my take on Days, but in the meantime, check out Christine's Days Of Our Lives Weekly Blog on Soaps.com this week and Matt's Musings (Days of our Lives Weekly Thoughts) next Friday.

November 13, 2009
Two secrets came out this week: Arianna confessed her undercover work to Brady and Sami found out Sydney was her baby.

I'll start with Arianna and Brady. Let me first say, I was thrilled that Brady's blue shirt was back - it just looks so good on him. Aside from his wardrobe, I was happy Arianna told him about her secret undercover work and didn't drag it out any longer. They have really grown on me as a couple and I'm happy to see that they'll be working together and actually getting to be together, even if they'll have to sneak around.  The sneaking around part could be fun!

Regarding the second big reveal, It's been a long time coming, but Sami finally learned the truth about Sydney. Rafe was so endearing as he broke the news to her that her baby is really alive. The scenes were a nice progression of Sami being in denial, staying loyal to Grace and then slowly accepting and embracing that Sydney was her little girl.

I fear EJ when he discovers the whole truth about Sydney. What will his rage lead him to do to Nicole and maybe even his father when he finds out they've been keeping that secret from him? I imagine he'll just disown Stefano, but I think Nicole better watch out. Sami, Sydney and Johnny will really be all that he has left, so things should get interesting there. EJ is already starting to break away from his father by saving Rafe from Stefano's hitman, but will he continue to run the family business or will he cut all ties with Stefano across the board?

As for Nicole, I know she will deserve pretty much everything she will get, but I can't help but feel sorry for her. She's scrambling to keep the secret of Sydney's parentage, while realizing the end is near. Her heart will be broken when she has to give Sydney back to Sami and my heart will break for her.

Mia pulled at my heart strings this week when she talked to Maggie about how she's failed at so much at just sixteen years old. It was very welcome to hear her finally bring up the shady dance company she joined when she first gave Sydney to Nicole and Maggie bringing up her parents. I enjoy Maggie as the surrogate mom to the lost souls on the show and enjoy her relationship with Mia, but I would also like to meet Mia's parents and find out what's going on there. My interest has also been piqued regarding Mia and Carly's meeting on the pier. What will become of that?

Daniel's scene with Sydney might have been the first time I actually liked him. He was so cute with her, but then again, Sydney is so adorable she can make anyone look good. I did agree with Nicole though that he should have woken Chloe up before taking Sydney out of the house, or at the very least, he should have stuck a post-it note on her forehead, so she didn't panic when she realized that Sydney was gone.

Carly's return has fallen flat for me and I am not all that invested in her storyline. I am however glad she has another secret, which hopefully will be more interesting than what's happening now. Maybe when Vivian gets to Salem it will liven things up.

Like Daniel, I enjoyed Hope for the first time in a very long time this week. She was so much more likeable when she was explaining to her husband why she felt threatened by Carly and wanted to come home. She was finally relatable again.

Philip just continues to annoy me. Even though Stephanie claims she's over Philip and doesn't care if he and Melanie like each other, it's still pretty insensitive for him to pursue Melanie right in front of his ex-fiancée just a couple of months after they broke up. 

To wrap up, I'm glad some secrets came out this week and look forward to the fallout. I just hope it all leads to somewhere good!

That's all I got for this week. I'll be back in two weeks for more of my take on Days, but in the meantime, check out Christine's Days Of Our Lives Weekly Blog on Soaps.com this week and Matt's Musings (Days of our Lives Weekly Thoughts) next Friday.


 October 30, 2009
Here are the things I'm happy about this week: Rafe is back among the land of the living and Carly revealed herself to Bo. Neither one of those things needed to be dragged out any longer than necessary. Now, I just can't wait until they reveal that Sydney is really Sami and EJ's baby. It's time.

How great was the scene where Nicole forced Chad to realize being a father was more than just about possession? It was a serious reality check for the teenager when he didn't know what to do when she cried. Not to mention, little Sydney was off the charts adorable when she cried in Chad's arms, but calmed down when Nicole took her back.

It's so frustrating to watch characters talk in circles sometimes. When Sami came to see Stefano, he kept referencing Sydney's "real mother" and they talked round and round about it. Why couldn't he just tell her Sydney was hers and EJ's? In real life Stefano would have cut to the chase and blurted it out, but not on soaps. We have to watch two days of innuendos and miscommunication. Although, it was funny when Sami was going off on her rant and Stefano just laid his head back and sighed. Ultimately, he decided it was best not to tell Sami, but wow, that was tough to watch after awhile.

I'm not entirely sure why Mia is so against Chad raising her baby. I get that she didn't want him to know about Sydney in the beginning, but now he does know and his parents apparently agreed to help him raise her. Yeah, he can be a jerk, but it's not like he's going to be raising the baby in a studio apartment above Brady's Pub while trying to make ends meet at Java Café. He will have help from his well-off parents. Why does she think letting Nicole (who bought her baby and lied to her husband about it) and EJ (who is a DiMera for God's sake) raise her? And where are her parents?

I think its time we found out who they are, where they've been and why they aren't helping her.

My last point about the Sydney storyline I'd like to make is that I was really hoping Nicole was going to tell Sami herself about Sydney. I think that would be an excellent twist since that never happens on soaps. I really felt her turmoil and sense of finally doing what was right, whether or not it was just because she was cornered, when she went to Sami's place. Nicole confessing to Sami would have added so much depth to Nicole and for a brief second I was pretty excited about that possibility.

Hope continues to annoy me. She's so worried about Bo's decisions putting Ciara in danger, but yet she's going to move into Victor's place? As if that's safe considering his business dealings of late and the recent attempt on Philip's life.

Speaking of, I'm really starting to hate Philip. I wish they would write him with more loyalty to the women in his life. I hate that he went to Melanie to try and win her over and hated it even more that he talked to Stephanie, his very recent ex-fiancée, about it. Give him one woman to love and let it be that. Force him to suffer over his broken heart and try to win the woman of his dreams back, instead of instantly having him jump to the next one. It gives him very little credibility.

Arianna and Brady reuniting was a highlight for me. I really like them together and want to see them develop into something more. However, Days' executive producer Ken Corday recently said in an interview that they might not end up together. I'm not sure what the point is then, since they are presumably trying to capitalize on their popularity from "Passions."

The actors' chemistry is working well on Days, and they seem to have a lighter dynamic than they did as Ethan and Theresa, so I say, commit to them and let them flourish as a couple.

Vivian's back. I remember her from the past, but don't remember being all that fired up about her. I am happy to see her again, but simply because I'm looking forward to a new dynamic in Salem. Kate and Stefano have been amusing, so I'm interested to see how the anticipated team of Victor and Vivian will affect and interact with them.

That's it for me this week. I'll be back with more of my thoughts on Days, in the meantime, check out Christine's Days Of Our Lives Weekly Blog on Soaps.com this week and Matt's Musings (Days of our Lives Weekly Thoughts) next Friday.


October 16, 2009
With Carly's return and everyone finding out Sydney isn't really Nicole's baby, Days has really become more interesting lately. 

Carly making her way back to Salem is a perfect time for the flashbacks that Days loves so much because she hasn't been on the show in years, so seeing the clips of her and Bo, and her and Lawrence from the 90's is helpful. Showing us flashbacks of things that happened the day before is just redundant.

I am enjoying how they are unraveling little by little what happened between Carly and Lawrence. I love that they haven't given it all away up front and are leaving us wanting to know more about who she was protecting, why she's seeking out Bo and where their son is. Could he be someone already in Salem?

While I'm really enjoying this storyline, I thought Victor bringing up Carly to Bo was strange. He was the one to mention her first, but then accused Bo of using her to hurt Hope.  I felt it was really odd. However, I did like that when Justin asked Bo about Carly being the love of his life after they learned Lawrence had been killed, Bo didn't make a big deal out of their relationship and declared it's always been Hope for him. I can only assume Carly will get in between them when she comes to town, but for now there is no reason to force an out of the blue longing for Carly.

As for Bo and Hope, I'm tired of hearing her berate him. I really feel for Bo on this one and hope Carly can be just what he needs to make things all better. Although, I'm intrigued by the possibility of Carly and Rafe as well. I'm glad she saved him because now she will have another connection in Salem, but it also got me wondering if they will have any chemistry.

In the aftermath of the reveal about Sydney, James Scott's portrayal of EJ has been wonderful. His restrained, cold demeanor has perfectly relayed his sense of betrayal, while his facial expression as he looked at photos and books of Sydney's showed his devastation over learning she isn't his baby (even though she really is). He also handled Chad brilliantly, as I hate when teenagers get the upper hand on adults. Which makes me wonder, if Chad's parents are lawyers and they supposedly do exist, why didn't he go to them for help first? Isn't that what most teens would do?

Even though it was just her scrambling, Nicole's verbal smack down on Chad was perfect because it's everything I think most teenage high school boys would have already thought of. He should be glad to know his baby is being cared for so he doesn't have to be responsible for a small child he can't emotionally or financially take care of himself. Maybe it's just me, but I think most boys his age would be pretty relieved they could still be just a carefree teenager instead of a dad. 

I thought Brady was a bit whiny talking to Melanie about his role in exposing Nicole's secret about Sydney, but I am enjoying this more tortured side to him. It makes him a little more interesting. I had to laugh though when he advised Melanie that if she ever couldn't hear the other end of a phone conversation she shouldn't say anything. Uh, Brady…I think most people know not to blurt out someone's deep dark secret when they aren't sure who they are talking to.

I was happy Brady and Arianna shared a scene this week. I really like them together and would like to see more of their longing and angst over not being together. I am cringing at the references to Brady still being in love with Nicole, because I want him with Ari. I also want more of Ari's secret past and think her undercover drug work needs to be seen more and resolved.

Why does Chloe have to want to have a baby right now? She just got together with Daniel, they rushed into an engagement and now she's wondering when he will be ready to procreate. I really wish we could see couples just be happy for a while without one or both of them catching baby fever. Besides, isn't Chloe supposed to have a bit of an aversion to kids? Regardless, I would like to see a woman on a soap content just being in love and enjoying her life without jumping into marriage or getting pregnant, because not all women are obsessed with either one of those things. I should say, not all 'real' women, because we all know that's the end game for most female soap characters. The only one I can think of off the top of my head who doesn't care about either of those things is Diane from General Hospital.

The only good thing about Chloe wanting a baby is that obviously Daniel's got something going on he's not telling her. I'm not a fan of the couple, especially after their icky make out session on the couch, but at least they are giving them a new storyline to delve into, or at least it seems that way. And I am still loving Victor's sarcastic remarks to Chloe. More of that please.

That's all I got for this week. I'll be back in two weeks for more of my take on Days, but in the meantime, check out Christine's Days Of Our Lives Weekly Blog this week and Matt's Musings (Days of our Lives Weekly Thoughts) next Friday.

October 2, 2009
Arianna and Sami as friends? I like it. Daniel and Chloe engaged? Not so much. Maybe they should try dating first. They might find they aren't so 'in love' without all the excitement of sneaking around.

I really enjoyed Victor this week. Not that I like hearing him call women derogatory names all the time, but his disdain of both Chloe and Stephanie was great. He can be quite funny sometimes.

I'm also actually liking Meredith. I feel like she's crazy, but for a reason I can understand and see on her face. Unlike Kate, who is just crazy for crazy's sake. She has grown on me and I was relieved that she pushed Rafe in the river instead of walling him up. I really didn't want to go through days or weeks of Rafe being imprisoned like that.

Chad is another character that has grown on me. He's not quite the tool he was hinted at being when he first came on. He seems like he will turn out to be a decent character and while I don't really believe that as a teenage boy he would want to take care of a baby, I actually felt bad for him when he found out he has a child. However, I still think he should be involved with an older crowd. It's too obvious how much experience he has over Mia and Will and I don't buy him and Mia as a couple at all.

It was refreshing for Sami to be understanding with Mia and try and figure out why she got back together with Chad so soon after dumping her son. It was a nice change from Victor or Kate who probably would have lashed out and called her a tramp or worse.

Finally! Sami is concerned about her finances and is looking for a job. I have to wonder though, how has she been paying her bills all this time? I am also loving Sami and Brady's newfound relationship. Their scenes are sweet and the familial bond is nice to see, but why didn't he offer her a job at Titan? I'm sure he could find her something to do there.

EJ finally discovered Nicole's secret and his initial reaction was perfect. His silent rage is so much more threatening than his angry outbursts. I loved it when he told Nicole she would learn what he was keeping secret when the time was right. His calm before the storm demeanor and the look on her face while she squirmed was great fun. The fact that EJ didn't believe Nicole's lies about her miscarriage and pregnancy pad was truly appreciated as it's tiring to watch characters believe such ridiculous lies when there's obvious evidence to the contrary. Hopefully, that will continue next week.

Did anyone else think the shirt Brady wore for the majority of the week was seriously blue? Was it just my TV or did it pop like nothing else? And did anyone else think it looked seriously good on him? His physical appearance doesn't usually get me all fired up, but this week? Yum.
Should Stefano really have gone through with eating that cake while drinking champagne since he has diabetes? Aside from his health issue, like Nicole, I was waiting for Stefano to fall over dead thinking Kate had poisoned it, or secretly had the chef put extra sugar in it to send him into a diabetic coma.

While I'm annoyed a whole week went by with no signs of Bo and Hope, way to make a reentrance Carly! I am quite interested to find out why she stabbed Lawrence and what will happen once she gets to Salem.

That's it for me this week.  I'll be back in two weeks for more of my take on Days, but in the meantime, check out Christine's Days Of Our Lives Weekly Blog this week and Matt's Musings (Days of our Lives Weekly Thoughts) next Friday.

September 18, 2009
I loved Roman being all badass with Arianna and not succumbing to her weepy plea that she be let out of  the operation. I wonder what Roman saying, 'it's for her own good' was all about though. It wasn't much of a surprise learn Arianna is doing undercover work, so I'm glad there is more mystery surrounding what exactly she's doing. Roman's cryptic statement coupled with Arianna begging him not to tell Brady about her past is intriguing.

While I'm on the subject, I'm liking Lindsay Hartley in the role of Arianna and think she is more confident and owns it more than the previous actress did. I'm way more invested in what's going to happen to Brady and Arianna as a couple with Lindsay involved.

As for Arianna's brother, Rafe has been hilarious. I'm so enjoying his flippant interactions with Nicole and almost everyone else he has been coming in contact with. I originally liked him with Sami, but I think I'm liking him more now on his own.  Of course now,  Meredith is back. I think she and Kate should form their own crazy women's club.

Speaking of, memo to Daniel: Never taunt the unstable person who tried to kill the woman you love with the evidence that can put her away. And never turn your back on her. You live in Salem; you should know these things. I was so happy thinking the story was finally getting wrapped up, but then Kate had to knock him out and tie him up. I mean really. Let it die already. No pun intended.

Chloe finally woke up and it was unintentionally humorous. First of all, as soon as she spoke, Lucas declared, "She's awake", to the rest of the room, who heard the same thing and saw her eyes open. Way to state the obvious. Secondly, the way she was propped up on that bed with her hair flared out all around her was something else. Thirdly, Lucas didn't even allow her two seconds to adjust to being out of a coma before he laid into her about Daniel! It was just all very comical to me.

I was so happy Mia finally confessed to Will and Maggie that she had a baby and wasn't on drugs. I'm not too wrapped up in Mia and Will, but it was sweet that he eventually accepted her and promised not to tell Chad. And Maggie was fantastic as usual.

EJ and Will talking about Mia was a pretty cute scene. I like that EJ acts as sort of a father figure to Will and sort of looks out for him. Is EJ becoming the male version of Maggie?

Where were Bo and Hope this week? They didn't need to be the center of attention, but a scene here and there would have been nice after what they went through last week.

It wasn't my turn to write the blog when this happened, but I still wanted to comment on Brady last week. I loved that he gave Philip crap for immediately going from Stephanie to Melanie. He was so right on about that and I love his friendship with and protectiveness of Melanie. She certainly needs someone to look out for her and be on her side, because aside from Maggie, no one's got her back. Although, I am warming up to her and Nathan. I just hope she stays away from Philip.

That's it for me this week. I'll be back in two weeks for more of my take on Days, but in the meantime, check out Christine's Days Of Our Lives Weekly Blog this week and Matt's Musings (Days of our Lives Weekly Thoughts) next Friday.

September 4, 2009
How funny was Stefano when Nicole kept interrupting him while he was explaining what he had set up in the Dominican? His frustration with her was priceless. However, I'm so disappointed Doc Baker was killed off! There was just great potential for him to continue to be a thorn in Nicole's side or annoy other people in Salem, while thoroughly entertaining us viewers.

Is there anything less sexy than going back to someone's place and worrying about that person's grandfather walking in on them, because it's actually his house? Why does Brady not live by himself? I guess they're just trying to save money on sets, but I hate when these rich families all live together in a big mansion, especially when members of the not so well off families, who maybe could use a break on the rent, live on their own. It doesn't really make any sense.

Victor aside, Brady and Arianna did the deed this week, but since they brought in a new actress for Arianna, I think they should have continued to build on their chemistry before going there. Or at least wait a week so we could get used to her. I know the actors were together on "Passions" and were 'the' couple on that show, but this is "Days," and I would have preferred a little more build up, because it's like she's a different character anyway. Especially since nuArianna seems much more comfortable in the role than old Arianna did.

I believe now more than ever that Arianna is a cop. Why else would she be so hot to meet the top guys in the drug operation? It was an interesting twist that Victor is the 'higher up' in the operation, but I don't think I like that he is dealing drugs. It certainly adds a heck of a lot more drama and angst to the situation though. But wow, Brady is gullible. His believing Arianna in regards to the drug dude was dangerously close to how easily Ethan bought whatever line that was fed to him on "Passions."

Why was Lucas so eager to pull the plug on Chloe? Give it a few days man! While I understand that Lucas would be hurt and upset that Chloe cheated on him, he still loved her and now she's in a coma. Wouldn't it be more realistic if he just grappled with his conflicting feelings instead of jumping right into 'hate'? I'm glad that Craig heard him though and set him straight because I thought having a man who 'hates' Chloe deciding her fate was a pretty bad idea. From a storyline perspective, I don't get why Craig didn't stay. His daughter is in a coma! He and Nancy should be by her side or at least hanging around Salem until she wakes up. Or for more than a couple days anyway. 

They really missed the boat by not showing us Brady owning up to his mistakes with his ex-wife by talking to Craig. Brady mentioned he was going to face the music, but the next thing you know, he's on the pier. That could have been a really honest and compelling scene if given the chance.

Would Kate really keep those gloves laying around for Daniel to find and incriminate her with? If this wraps up the storyline a little faster, I guess I don't really care.

Poor Melanie. My heart broke for her when she saw the ring back on Stephanie's finger.  Philip is such a dog! On the flip side, Maggie was totally sweet with her regarding Nathan. I love the women's relationship. If learning Philip and Stephanie were back together wasn't bad enough, Melanie then had to deal with seeing her sex tape on the Internet. She just can't catch a break! I love that Brady and Arianna are helping her with it and I certainly hope Melanie doesn't allow Philip to worm his way back into her life once Stephanie presumably dumps him after seeing the tape.

Did they really have to hit us over the head with that box of Cheerios? I get that they need the sponsorship and I have no problem with product placement, but why did Melanie have to go into detail about the whole grains in the cereal? They don't do that in movies or on Primetime TV shows; they just have the products out and let the viewers connect the dots. Why do soaps have to be so obvious all the time? The Cheerios blended in perfectly as Melanie and Nathan snacked on them while studying and they should have just left it at that.

After they fought about giving the dirty cop the ransom money, Hope told Bo, "I'm so tired of this." She took the words right out of my mouth. I'm so on Bo's side on every argument they have. I don't know why, but I've really grown to like Bo lately and he hasn't done much for me since the 80's. The more I feel for Bo, the more Hope annoys me, so I say, Hope, find solace in Justin, because Carly is on her way back to town!

That's all I got for this week. Check out Christine's Thoughts this week, and Matt's Musing next Friday, and I'll be back in two weeks for more of my thoughts on Days!

August 21, 2009
Finally! Bo's visions are playing into a real story, but wow, the three kidnappers are pretty painful to watch. The woman is okay, but the cop is a tool and the other guy is just bizarrely simple. Bo really is the strongest link in this storyline, as he is the only one whose angst I'm buying.

I'm not really attached to Ciara as a character, so I was surprised how much the guy covering her eyes and tying her up really freaked me out. He was creepy and seeing her tied up was disturbing, but I might have felt worse for Ciara if she looked a little more afraid instead of just bored. I'm not trying to slam her, she's just a little girl after all, but I just couldn't get all that emotionally involved in it.

As for Hope, I have to question her abilities as a cop after this matter. Her not going by the book and making the ransom drop on her own really calls into question her competence as a law enforcement officer. If it was just another case she was working on, Hope would have demanded that the mother go to the drop with backup, but since it was her own kid, she threw all the rules out the window. I'm not sure I would place my faith in the system if Hope can't do the same.

As great as it is to see Wally Kurth again, I'm not exactly sure what Justin's purpose is so far. I'm thinking maybe Hope will turn to him after getting fed up with Bo's visions and him calling off the ransom drop. I thought for a second he might be involved in the kidnapping, but that doesn't make any sense for his character. So I'm sticking with the Hope thing. I just really hope they give him something to do besides defend Daniel and be a sounding board for Bo and Hope.

Victor called Stephanie a slut this week. It's not really surprising but it brought home how often that word is thrown around on soaps lately. It's really bothering me. Just because the women on Daytime sleep with more than one guy or simply spend time with someone else, it doesn't qualify them as a dirty slut, tramp, whore, etc. How angry are the writers that they resort to derogatory name calling to depict how much someone hates a female character? No one is calling Phillip that and he actually slept with Melanie. Stephanie simply befriended someone of the opposite sex and Victor is trashing her. And should Victor really be throwing stones? Or Kate for that matter, who routinely calls Chloe names. Wasn't she a professional slut at one time?

Philip is so hard to like. He can be so sweet one minute and so mean and nasty the next. I felt so bad for Melanie. She finally thought she got the guy, but then Philip turned around and wanted to get back together with Stephanie. Everything Melanie said to Philip was true: he wants his cake and eat it too. She should totally blow him out of the water with Stephanie. I can only assume that the sleazy motel guy is going to sell the tape of them having sex or blackmail Philip with it. As if Melanie hasn't been victimized enough. As a side note, Philip has a ton of money, why did he take Melanie to such a dive? I'm sure he would never take Stephanie there. Again, poor Melanie.

So Arianna weighs out her drugs on the bar at Brady's Pub where half the town just walks in whether the bar is open or not. Oh yeah, very covert.

Yay! Doc Baker is back! I love how he needles and plays with Nicole. He's so much fun to watch. I'm sure he will continue to be a thorn in Nicole's side as long as he continues to gamble. The storyline totally picked up for me when he returned.

That's it for me this week. I'll be back in two weeks for more Days dish. Until then check out what Matt has to say in his musings next Friday!


August 7, 2009
Posted on the blog this week!

July 24, 2009
I am going to break my silence regarding the Chloe/Daniel/Kate storyline. I'm just not understanding why Kate wants Chloe dead. Yes, cheating on Lucas is horrible, but I don't think it warrants death. I really just thought Kate wanted to make Chloe ill enough that Daniel would be framed, but not ill enough that it would cause her serious harm. Days can be campy and over the top, but this is just too much and too ridiculous. Besides, Kate isn't exactly a shining beacon of morality, so she really shouldn't be throwing stones, or in this case, poisoning apples.

I'm no detective, but I get the feeling Bo and Hope's investigation of Daniel wouldn't exactly hold up in court. None of it makes sense really. The recording Maggie heard was so obviously cut and pasted together and I don't think that was enough to make the town's top detectives start investigating. They didn't even hear the recording themselves, so there's no evidence Daniel 'threatened' Chloe. Bo and Hope didn't even know Chloe was sick yet and they were already questioning everyone regarding Daniel. Then, Bo breaks into Daniel's place without a warrant, which I think makes finding the bottle with the drug found in Chloe's system a moot point. Yes, I know Bo eventually got the warrant, but it was only after he was already in the house. I know these things aren't usually accurate on soaps, but this was just glaringly absurd.

Speaking of the detective team, where are we in Bo's visions and the person stalking Ciara and Hope? I hate when there are long gaps in between story points. It makes me not care.

Philip throwing his glass in anger made me wonder who cleans up the messes soap characters make when they smash things in their homes? Henderson will likely sweep up Philip's temper tantrum, but what about the people who don't have servants? Do you ever see them getting out a broom to clean up the plates, glasses or vases that they throw?

Melanie has really done a 180 hasn't she? She's quickly becoming the heart of the show by trying to set everyone up and looking out for other people's best interests. It's a far cry from the conniving witch everyone hated when she first came on. She has great potential with Philip, as I really enjoyed their scenes at the cabin, and I think she's more on his level than Stephanie is. I was so happy she turned him down though and made it clear she would only be with him when he was sober and over Stephanie. While I'm a little bothered by the baby voice Melanie often uses, it was sweet, yet heartbreaking as it's clear she really just wants to be loved.

The scene between Nicole and Will really showed us how far Nicole has come as well. Everything she's gone through with losing her baby, stealing Sami's baby and dealing with Grace's death has really made her a more sympathetic and likeable character. You can feel her pain, remorse and fear and that was brought home when she broke down after Will thanked her for convincing EJ to let Sami share custody of Johnny.  

I'm starting to like that Chad guy. Although he's still a bit of a jerk, they've softened him up a bit and I'm interested to see what happens when he finds out he's a daddy. He's also the only one who is smart enough to not believe Mia's story that she used drugs and went to rehab. I'm still confused as to why she just didn't tell everyone she went on tour to dance instead of creating a lie she will have to continue to feed.

Word came down this week that Lindsay Hartley (ex-Theresa, Passions) will be taking over the role of Arianna, which means she will again be paired up with Eric Martsolf (Brady, Days; ex-Ethan, Passions) as her love interest and Galen Gering (Rafe, Days; ex-Luis, Passions) as her onscreen brother. This was a move you could see coming a mile away, as I already mused on it and I'm sure many fans and other soap journalists did as well. While it makes sense, considering Ethan and Theresa were 'the' couple on Passions, and it's fun for fans of the now defunct soap, I have to wonder if it will work. I hope it does, but two popular couples testing their chemistry on a different soap comes to mind that didn't work out so well: Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols (Kayla and Patch) went from Days to General Hospital as Stephan and Katherine and Beth Ehlers  and Ricky Paull Goldin went from Guiding Light as Harley and Gus to All My Children as Jake and Taylor with less than positive results. However, this situation could and hopefully will be different and I'm looking forward to seeing Lindsay debut as Arianna. Not to mention it will hopefully give Brady something more to do than listen to everyone else's problems.

That's it for me, but I will be back in two weeks with more of my thoughts on Days. In the meantime, check out Christine's Thoughts this week, and Matt's Musing next Friday.

July 10, 2009
Things are turning around for me on Days and I think, surprisingly, it has a lot to do with Melanie, who I couldn't stand a few months ago.  The scenes at the cabin between Brady, Arianna, Nathan and Melanie were fun and a much-needed break from the Nicole/EJ and Philip/Stephanie drama. I'm still not in love with Nathan, but I enjoy Melanie and adore her friendship with Brady. It's so rare, but nice when people of the opposite sex can just be friends on soaps.

It's so good to see Brady getting more to do and his own storyline with Arianna. Although, I think he needs more going on, such as something work related or a greater struggle with his sobriety. I will take what I can get though, because I enjoy Eric Martsolf and would like for him to be able to delve more deeply into who exactly Brady is. At least Arianna backing off Brady due to his former coke habit will presumably lead to learning more about who she is though.

I'm glad Sami and Rafe are being catapulted into a new storyline about his past. It's good to draw focus away from Grace and the baby switch for a while and learning about Rafe's mysterious past is a good way to go about it. I found it curious that Sami didn't ask how his fiancé died though, as that's the next question I would have asked and more importantly, I want to know!

Nicole told EJ she never knew what love was until she met him. Good God how sad for her. All he does is yell and threaten her. They'll have a nice moment together, like him giving her the necklace with the kids' photos in it, and then he'll turn on her. It's tiring and I wish we could see more loving moments between them because EJ can be quite charming and they used to be a good couple. I'm glad though that Nicole at least tries to stand up to EJ and convinced him to drop the custody suit. I think it's a little due to her fear of Rafe finding out her secret, but I also think it's because she truly feels bad for Sami.

It's amusing that just by switching Ciara's stuffed animal, Bo thinks it will change his vision's outcome and keep his daughter safe. I was glad Hope acknowledged it, because Ciara could still be in danger whether she's holding a giraffe or a bear. I just wish they would get to the meat of the story.

So glad Stephanie and Philip have broken up. She is way too much of a mess with him and I think she'll be more independent and stronger without him. At least I hope she will be. As for Philip, his scene with Melanie was promising, as these two have finally found some common ground and are more like friends now, rather than her just being desperate to land him and him being a complete jerk to her. If it keeps up, there could be hope for these two in the future.

The flashbacks of Chad and Mia are a nice touch and I'm interested to see more about what happened between these two. I don't understand why they never mention her dancing career though. I don't know if I missed something, but I hope they revisit or at least address that part of her life.

The other big story of the week was Chloe's poisoning, but it's really so absurd I can't even talk about it.

So that's it for me this week. I'll be back in two weeks to share my thoughts on Days, but in meantime, check out Matt's Musing next Friday.


June 26, 2009
This week gave us a new character, drawn out storylines, two evolved women, one Stepford woman, and more of Sami's pain.

Kate's plan to ruin Chloe and Daniel is way too convoluted and extreme to me. Yes, they had an affair while Chloe was with Lucas, but if she really wants to get back at them and get Chloe out of her son's life, why doesn't she just tell Lucas Chloe cheated on him? Problem solved. This storyline is really dragging out too long and having Daniel and Chloe accidentally bump into each other all the time is getting old.

I was catching someone up on Days the other day and explained Lucas' memory loss. Just hearing myself verbalize how Chloe sleeping with Daniel is the only thing Lucas doesn't remember after the explosion really brought home the absurdity of it all.

So Chad came back into Mia's life, which is presumably the father of her baby. I'm so happy they brought this guy on. There's only so many times Mia and Nicole or Mia and Brady can secretly talk about her baby before Mia's story gets really old. Now they have a new wrinkle, the baby daddy, which will keep things interesting, especially if he will affect her burgeoning relationship with Will.

I loved the scene when Sami brought Johnny to EJ's house and, as she stood outside, he coldly told her to shut the door. It reminded me of the scene in "The Godfather 2" when Michael shut the door in Kay's face when he caught her trying to secretly visit her kids after he banned her. I usually think EJ is a bit much, but that was good stuff!

While EJ is trying to punish Sami for keeping his daughter away from him, his wife actually feels sorry for her nemesis. Nicole's evolution has been enjoyable to watch and I believe that she feels sorry for Sami regarding Grace's death and Johnny being taken away from her. She went from being a one-note  character when she first returned to becoming a bit more complex and interesting.

Here's a question, are Johnny and Ally old enough for day camp? Can they even form full sentences yet? Daycare? Yes. Day camp? I don't think so.

Sami going to Philip and Stephanie was a great scene as I totally felt her pain and desperation, but I was so angry with Stephanie for turning down her cousin's request of nailing EJ. I know she doesn't have actual proof that EJ was involved in her kidnapping, but she knows he did it and she's only not helping Sami because of Philip, who really has only caused her more pain than happiness anyway. I hate the way her character is so pathetic right now. She needs a backbone and to not be the victim all the time and her getting hooked on drugs is not going to help that at all. Stephanie needs to get a job and not just be the lady of the Kiriakis mansion.

Nathan hasn't wowed me at all, but I felt bad for Melanie that her issues with Nick still follow her around. Hope blaming Melanie for Nick going to jail was too much, as Melanie did not cause Nick's mental breakdown which led to him killing Trent. If anything, they should all be apologizing to Melanie for what Nick did to her. But Nathan gave her the cold shoulder because of this bit of information, until Maggie set him straight, which was a fantastic scene.

Speaking of evolving, Melanie has really come a long way from when she first came on. I couldn't stand her self-absorbed character, but she's softened over time and even truly cares about other people, such as Stephanie. However, I am sensing no chemistry between her and Nathan. I hope this changes or they give her someone else to hook up with, because from where I stand, he is not someone to give up moving to England for.

Bo's visions have now produced his dead son, Zach. They really need to go somewhere compelling with this, considering his past visions have fallen pretty flat. They've drawn his visions out without ever giving it a direction or purpose. Now that it involves his children and someone is after Hope for some reason, maybe it will go somewhere good. 

That's all that stood out for me this week. I'll be back in two weeks to share more of my thoughts on Days, but until then, check out Matt's Musings next Friday.


June 12, 2009
As much of the cast was involved, this  week mostly centered on Grace's death and wow, was it a good week! Even though it was hard to ignore how healthy the baby actually looked, the cast really turned in some great performances, as they not only had to deal with the death of Grace, but also the reveal that EJ was the father (even though the audience knows he's really not).

I have to applaud Alison Sweeney on her portrayal of a grief stricken mother. I can't even imagine what she does to conjure up such anguish and so many tears, but she really pulled it off. I was leery about James Scott at first, as his whole hand shaking thing after Sami told EJ he was Grace's father was a little obvious to me. However, the next day when he calmly, yet furiously told her he would hate her forever for keeping his daughter away from him won me over. He was very convincing in his pain over not having much cared for the baby while she was alive and not having had the chance to know her. Also, kudos to James for believably breaking down while at the morgue, considering all he had to look at was a blanket and metal drawer for inspiration.

Arianne Zucker is also doing a bang up job of showing Nicole's pain over Grace's death and her role in the baby switch. It's really humanized her and shown some depth to her character, especially when she took Mia to say goodbye to her baby, which of course Mia didn't know was hers.

Stefano helping Nicole keep the secret that she really has Sami's baby will make for some interesting drama when EJ finds out the truth. He will of course be furious with Nicole, but how will he react to his beloved father's betrayal? Nicole and Stefano's alliance is compelling now, but I can't wait to see how it affects EJ in the aftermath.

Of course a few other things happened in Salem as well, like Chelsea coming home to convince Max to move to London with her. The scenes were cute and they are a fun couple, but since there's really no story and they haven't been involved in one for some time, it doesn't really have much impact. It's too bad they weren't used more before they left, but I don't think their absence from the canvas will be felt much. At least they are getting a send off though, unlike some other long time characters who recently left the show.

So Chloe finally admitted she loves Daniel more than she loves her husband. Is this really all because Lucas kept Sami's secret? Chloe is keeping the huge secret from Lucas that she slept with Daniel before they got married, so it's a little hypocritical of her to be hurt that he kept Sami's secret, that has nothing to do with her. I sort of understand that she sees it as a sign that their marriage isn't very stable, but I think it's really just a convenient excuse for her to run to Daniel. I did appreciate the fact that Daniel was the voice of reason by telling her people are human and she shouldn't be ready to end their marriage just because Lucas was being a good friend to Sami. However, him turning her down was unbelievable since he wants to be with her, and an obvious way to keep them apart so Kate can have her revenge.

That's it for me this week. The fallout from Grace's death should continue to send shock waves throughout Salem for some time and I'll be back in two weeks to dish on the latest developments!

May 29, 2009
Read Lori's Last Word on our blog this week 

May 15, 2009
I like the character of Mia and the actress who plays her, but I have two questions: Where does Mia live, and why doesn't she explain her absence from school by saying she left to dance - because unless I missed something, that's pretty much the truth. It seems like she's going to an awful lot of trouble making up stories about being addicted to drugs when she could just say she was traveling. However, I do like that she's interacting with a lot of the cast, including Sami, Maggie and Brady,. and would love to know her backstory.

Speaking of Brady, I really liked the scenes he had on Friday with Melanie (whose friendship I'm really enjoying), Maggie and Mia, but I want to see more of him. I'm liking him more and more, but we don't get enough!

Here's another question: Since Max isn't in med school yet, or to the best to my knowledge, hasn't taken any pre-med courses, why is he an authority on secondary infections? When Bo asked him about that and Max gave such an in-depth answer, I laughed. I know he's a cold fusion genius and all, but where did he pick up that bit of information?

I am so glad Stefano's diabetes has become a main plot point and not just a throw away like I originally expected. I am liking Victor being so evil again and using Stefano's illness to get EJ to do what he wants. Very diabolical! It's given the show a much-needed shot in the arm.

While I'm liking the feud, however, I am so tired of Philip being a total jerk to the women in his life. Why do Stephanie and Melanie give him the time of day? He is constantly turning on them and saying vile things. Drugged or not, Stephanie should hightail it out of there and Melanie should find someone else to obsess over. By the way, it was interesting that Stephanie told Philip she is trying to get her grandmother to understand and like his family. Um, I'm pretty sure Caroline is quite aware of how the Kiriakis' work, considering she had an affair with Victor that produced Bo and they are still friends! I'm just saying.

Ah, that Owen. He's a pretty inept evildoer, isn't he? You'd think the DiMera's would hire a better henchman. It makes me wonder if he's being blackmailed by Stefano to do his bidding or if there's some other reason. He seems too soft for this line of work.

It's too bad Dr. Baker is gone. He calls Nicole out at every turn and says what the audience is thinking, which is pretty amusing. I hope he returns and quick!

I have to say, Days is certainly picking up and getting better, which, considering how all over the place it's been for the past year, makes me wonder how they got nominated for an Outstanding Drama Series Daytime Emmy. The mysteries of the voting process at work! I just hope Days continues on the path it's going, because I'm liking it!

See ya in two weeks - and in the meantime, you can check out Matt's Musing next Friday for his take on all things Salem!

May 2, 2009
Even if he was just trying to be mean, it was fantastic the way Rafe called Sami out on her tears and temper tantrums. And then Lucas told her to grow up! What a great tough love week for her. It won't sink it, but at least people are telling Sami to get over herself.

I also enjoyed Sami being so honest with Rafe regarding her feelings for him. We're so used to seeing her cover up her feelings that it was refreshing for her to just lay it all out there for Rafe. Of course EJ screwed it all up, but it's a start. And I'm guessing Arianna, the woman Sami overheard Rafe profess his love to, is going to turn out to be his sister. Anyone agree with me? I hope that's the case because that will give Rafe someone else to interact with aside from Sami and give him some roots and a background, which is usually necessary for us to become invested in a new character.

If Arianna does turn out to be Rafe's sister instead of ex-lover, maybe that will free her up to become Brady's new love interest! What do you think? That would give Brady a storyline and possibly a friend in Rafe. Here's a thought for you Passions fans: Wouldn't it have been great if they got Lindsey Hartley (ex-Theresa) to play that role? If you didn't watch the show, she was Galen Gering's (Rafe) character's sister and Eric Martsolf's (Brady) character's love interest. It might have been a little too much, but it also could've have been fun.

Speaking of Brady, I appreciated his lecture to Nicole about how dangerous the DiMeras are and how she didn't really want to know what they are capable of, but doesn't she know this already? She can't be that ignorant to the DiMera history. I also enjoyed his confrontation with EJ and I would love to see the two of them engage in an epic battle instead of a battle between EJ and Philip. Brady seems more like an adult when he threatens people, whereas Philip always just seems like a spoiled brat.

While we're on the topic of EJ, he has some ego on him, doesn't he? He interrupts Sami who is about to have sex with another man and who happens to be very hot, and accuses her not being over him. Ummm…did he not see that they were half naked? I think she's moving on just fine. In addition, what a let down on the honeymoon or lack there of for Nicole and EJ. I've already stated my opinion on what's become of this couple, so I won't rehash it, but I would think a man of EJ's means could pop for one amazing honeymoon instead of settling for arguing at home with his new bride and then running off to see his ex.

And what about poor Will? He's been relegated to Grace's nanny. Sami better cough up some dough if she expects her son to be her on call babysitter. That way he can use the cash to take Mia out, who happens to be Grace's real mom. Gotta love soaps!

So we found out this week that Stefano has diabetes. I'm not sure why they gave him this condition especially since it's such a regular-person disease. He's too over the top and evil to be pulled into the real world by having to worry about his insulin levels. And now he's left the county, so what was the point of giving him an actual medical problem?

Spoiler Talk - I really wish they would have given Chelsea and Max a real storyline before they send them off. Apparently Chelsea will return again later this month and the two of them will ride off into the sunset together, but wouldn't it have been nice if one of the more likeable and happy couples in Salem actually had something to do aside from just talk to each other about school and the new waitress before they leave town? Seems like a waste of both the fans' and actors' time.

Here's my final thought: Where the heck are Bo and Hope and will there be more to his visions? Talk about dropping the ball on this couple!

That's it for me this week. I'll be back in two weeks with more thoughts on Days, but until then check out Matt's Musing next Friday for his take on all things Salem.

April 18, 2009
Was anyone else left feeling a bit let down after Bo's vision of Roman and Hope didn't come true? Not that I want Roman and Hope to have an affair, but what the heck was the point of that and where are they going with this storyline? Very anti-climactic.

I don't like that Nicole had to prove herself to EJ by telling him about Rafe posing as the cable guy in order to be worthy of him marrying her. She wasn't a fall-in-line kind of girl when he supposedly fell in love with her, so why does he expect her to toe the DiMera line now? Why should she have to lie for him about something that did not happen, such as Philip murdering Tony, in order for him to allow her to be a part of his life? I hate what they've done to this couple and to EJ. Yes, I know he basically raped Sami and I should have hated him for that, but they redeemed him. Now he's just a brute that belittles his woman if he doesn't get his way. Not the EJ/Nicole or fans fell in love with.

While I'm on the topic, I hate what they've done to Nicole as well. Part of this couple's charm was that they were both schemers and manipulators and sparked with each other because they got each other. Now he's domineering and she's weepy. Not exactly fun or sexy to watch. I found myself wanting her to go with Brady when he confessed his love (which I don't really understand) because while she was explaining that she and EJ were cut from the same cloth, I couldn't help but think that she is too afraid to tell her 'soul mate' about their baby, while Brady, who she deemed too good, knows the truth (or most of the truth) about Sydney, but loves her anyway. Shouldn't that tell her something?

Again, I'm not sure why Brady loves Nicole with all the awful things she's done, but I certainly don't want him to hook up with Melanie. I think she is too young for him and it's kind of gross. Don't get me wrong, Brady needs love, just not with her. Kind of interesting though that he gets beat up next week, eh? The whole wedding scene with flashes from the church intermixed with flashes of EJ's hitman going after Philip and the bodyguard going after Brady was very Godfather-esque, except that EJ is no Michael Corleone!

A non-couple I am liking these days is Sami and Lucas. I'm sure there are many Lumi fans out there who still want them to reunite, but I like them as friends. It's cool that Sami has confided in Lucas about Grace and that there is no sexual tension between them right now. They have tons of history and share kids, so it makes sense they are still in each other's lives and I like it.

I did not appreciate Chloe's comment that Sami is just a single mother, as if Nicole is so much better just because EJ has agreed to marry her, but it did get me wondering how Sami is feeding her children. She is so desperately in need of a job! That should be her next storyline, after all this baby mess is sorted out.

On a random note, I would like to see Kate's assistant Chris around more often. I don't want him to be a major player, but he's funny and definitely a bright spot in Salem.

Next week should be great fun watching to see if EJ and Nicole do in deed get married, if Mia spills the beans or if Sami gets to the church in time. Then there's always the wild card Dr. Baker to worry about and I'm starting to like him as he sits back, amused, in the background.

I'll be back in two weeks with more of my thoughts. In the meantime, enjoy Matt's Musing next Friday!

April 3, 2009
Could it be true? Is the fuel project really as dead as Tony? While I'm a little disappointed the character died, it cushions the blow if he is taking this god awful storyline with him. But with no project to obsess and manipulate over, what will Melanie do? Hopefully something to make me like her a bit more.

Since when are the people of Salem concerned about being a doctor to family members or questioning family members in a police investigation? All of a sudden after years of tending to friends and family in their respective fields, Bo and Lexie suddenly remembered it's not exactly ethical for Lexie to operate on Tony or for Bo to question Philip? That made me laugh. Who else is going to do it if they don't?

While I like Rafe, I was a little annoyed by his lecture to Will. I appreciate his attempt at helping Sami mend fences with her son and I realize that Rafe only really knows Sami's side of the story, but I think Will has every right to be upset his with mother. Aside from his dysfunctional childhood, both Sami and Lucas have basically ignored him since he's been home, he has no structure, he comes and goes as he pleases and now Sami has brought another child home to take even more of her attention and love away from him. If I were Will, I'd be a moody, unpleasant teenager too!

Speaking of Will, I think he and Mia have great potential, as does the complicated baby switch storyline. Mia is sweet, but not perfect and I can see her growing into the heart of the show one day, should it last long enough for that to happen. Fingers crossed!

Sami going to Bo for advice was a nice touch. She needs family now and her mother, sister, brother and stepfather are all out of town. Yeah, grandma Caroline is around sometimes and dad Roman is there too, but I enjoyed Sami and Bo's dynamic and I would like to see more scenes like this and with them, where family members turn to each other using history to try and figure out their lives in the present.

I'm so glad Chloe is not pregnant. There are enough baby storylines going on right now. I don't know if I missed something, but I do wonder what is going on with her and why Kate wants to forge prescriptions using Daniel's signature. Whatever the reason, I'm just happy Kate is back to her manipulative self. But Chloe and Daniel's scenes are still creepy to me.

How many times is EJ going to tell Nicole to leave if she wants to, but to not take his child with her? His crazy tirades are becoming humorous instead of threatening. I do feel for Nicole though. She may have created her own nightmare, but she's in a tough spot. Once it's revealed that Sydney isn't her baby, all heck will break loose and she'll have Stefano to deal with, as well as tyrant-in-training EJ. I fear for her. However, having Dr. Baker around as Nicole's regular reality check will be great fun.

So now that Tony's dead, a major war seems to be brewing between the Kiriakis and DiMera families. I would like to see this happen on an epic level, in order to bring back the power and diabolicalness that once made these families so feared, instead of the cartoonish bad guys they've become.

So that's it for me this week. Check out Matt's Musing next Friday and I'll be back in two weeks with more of my thoughts on Days.


March 20, 2009
Oh my God! Can the fuels project storyline just end already?! Melanie needs to focus on something else instead of trying to play Salem's major players against each other and get involved in a storyline where we'll start to like her. And Philip needs to stop acting like such a spoiled brat! Somehow EJ manages to act like the scheming adult businessman that he is while dealing with Melanie and the project. Philip could take a lesson or two from him.

Speaking of Philip, why does Stephanie 'love' him? He's a total jerk who is obsessed with one-upping the DiMeras....

Read the rest of what Lori has to say about this week on our blog!

March 6, 2009
Kate's back, Safe is where it's at and one half of the best couple is leaving the show!

I am glad to see Kate is back to her scheming self and setting Chloe up for a fall. I understand why she would become a nice, good person after her brush with death, but now it's time for the claws to come back out and for Kate to do what she does best: ruin the life of her son's woman. Maybe I missed something, but why isn't she targeting Daniel as well? He's as much to blame as Chloe is, right?

Another character who had a glimmer of her old self this week was Nicole. I know it won't last because she has turned into a shrieking, insecure mess, but I enjoyed the scene where she and Chloe were trying on wedding/bridesmaid dresses and Nicole flat out told Chloe she was putting her in an ugly dress to make sure she (Nicole) alone stood out on her wedding day. It was true to Nicole's nature and funny, but it was also a nice girl bonding moment, which I dig. I also loved Nicole's hair! After months of looking exactly the same with that short curled bob, her new edgy straight, bangs look is a welcome change and makes her look more striking. Chloe also had a better style as her normally big hair gave way to a sleeker, flatter, straighter do.  Much better.

The best scene this week had to be when Max got caught leaving the house in the morning by Bo. It was pretty realistic as all parties involved were properly uncomfortable, considering Chelsea just had sex in her father's house with his adopted brother. I thought Bo had every right to be upset about it and I understood why Chelsea wanted to move out, but did she have to leave immediately? Couldn't she have just told her father she would be looking for an apartment and would be moving out ASAP? That would have made more sense. After his outrage at his little girl having sex, you would think Bo would be a little more protective over the thought of Chelsea just packing up and heading out.

Regardless, Max and Chelsea are the best couple going on Days right now. They are cute and sweet and fun…and leaving. Well, at least Chelsea's portrayer Rachel Melvin is. It's too bad because they have the most potential to be a great couple and watching them now is almost pointless since we know it won't last. The only other couple with potential is Sami and Rafe. I don't have much to say about them right now, but I enjoyed their scene at Sami's place when he came to see her. She was so happy to see him and I shared her enthusiasm as they sparked up the place, which is what I used to enjoy about her and EJ, but it has long since passed. Hopefully, Sami and Rafe can remain a fun, flirty pair and hit it off. He already knows her secrets, so he's ahead of the game already.

Back to Bo, I wonder if his vision of Hope has something to do with an investigation. I know she's suspended from the force, but why else would Hope be in bed with another man? I guess will find out soon enough.

I don't much care about Melanie's fuel project, but I am so glad EJ and Philip weren't one upped by teenager (young adult?) Melanie. That would have been absurd, so I was happy they both figuratively or literally slammed the door on her face. This could all change, but for now, I am pleased the adult businessmen out foxed her.

My only other thought this week is: poor Brady. I'll keep it brief, so as not to sound like a broken record, but he's been reduced to just listening to his exes' problems. I imagine being a doormat is not what Eric Martsolf signed up for.

Overall, I found this week pretty uninspiring, but there's always next time!

February 20, 2009
Here's what I learned this week: Philip is a complete jerk, Melanie is smarter than I thought and Lucas is more entertaining as a drunk.

I also realized there really aren't many couples to root for on this show. Daniel and Chloe are gross (in my opinion); Nicole is keeping a huge secret from EJ that will destroy their relationship; Rachel Melvin is leaving the show, so I can't get invested in Max and Chelsea, even though I want to; Philip is a horse's behind, so it's hard to root for him and Stephanie; and Bo and Hope are separated for no good reason. Although, we do have Abe and Lexie, who have done a good job of staying together throughout Theo's ordeal, but they are rarely on.

Here's who I am interested in: Nicole and Brady and maybe Rafe and Sami, but we'll have to see how they play out in the real world of Salem before I rush to judgment. Even though I don't really understand why Brady is her friend, I like his and Nicole's relationship and think the actors have good chemistry that can be built on. I would like to see more of it, whether they remain just friends or not.  But other than that, there isn't really anyone who we can look to for a fun, romantic, stable relationship. I think the writers need to change that and let someone besides the once a week (if that) Abe and Lexie share some happy scenes together.

I was so happy Melanie saw right though Philip's 'I'm now in love with you' act. It's hard to root for him and Stephanie, or just Philip by himself, when he's so charming with her, but so awful with everyone else. I don't understand why they can't let him be in a relationship. His portrayer is attractive and can turn on the charm, so let him be edgy, but don't make him unlovable, which is what he was by manipulating Melanie like that. I felt bad for her when he was using her to get to her fuel project, but then the old Melanie came out, gave as good as she got and I actually liked her for the first time in a long time, if ever.

Even though he's a recovering alcoholic and I don't wish for real alcoholics to fall off the wagon, I enjoyed Lucas' bender. I'm not a fan of his character, but he was more interesting and fun while drunk that I couldn't wait to see his scenes in between the painful ones of Chloe talking to the random priest and praying in the park.

One of the more popular Days couples have been written out and if you weren't told it was their last day, you wouldn't even have noticed. They haven't been an exciting couple for some time, so I'm not upset they are gone, but Steve and Kayla deserved a little more fan fare to their departure than just a regular scene at the hospital. They weren't written out, they just aren't writing for them anymore. Kinda sad.

The show has certainly paired down their cast and I'm okay with that, but lets make who they have on interesting by putting them with actors they have chemistry with, giving them compelling storylines we actually care about and maybe lightening things up a bit. I would like to see some more humor added and a lot more romance.

This might happen when Sami comes home, as her and Rafe are fun and flirty. I just hope her return to Salem isn't all bogged down by the baby switch storyline and that she gets to have some lighthearted moments with EJ, Lucas or Rafe. Or maybe all three!

So that's it for me this week. I'll be back with more of my Last Word in two weeks and will hopefully have a couple to root for!

February 6, 2009
Isn't it funny how people usually get across town in the blink of a commercial break, but EJ took half of Monday's show to get to the clinic in order to see his newborn baby? Nicole has gotten to Brookville in the matter of one scene before, but on Monday, she was able to manipulate and scheme for at least three scenes before EJ showed up. Luckily for Nicole, he apparently took the scenic route. Regardless, EJ should have been tipped off that Nicole hadn't given birth by the sheer fact that she had perfect hair and makeup after supposedly being in labor. I have to admit though, Nicole's doctor said one of the smartest things I've heard on a soap in long time, which was that the baby could maybe, just maybe, turn out to look like her real mother: Sami. Women of Daytime tend to forget that little fact when they steal other people's children.

EJ and Lucas' reactions to Sami's imminent return were dead on. It seems both men's lives have been a tad easier without her in it and now they must deal with her getting in the mix once again. It was all very believable, but the best part was Lucas' smirk when EJ declared Sami won't be able to profoundly affect his life anymore. Just you wait Elvis.

I'm having a problem with how often we see, or don't see, characters and storylines on this show. For example, Stephanie and Philip started their date at the pool hall a week ago Tuesday. Philip had to leave on business for a bit, but didn't come back to the bar until the following Tuesday! They only showed Philip one other time that week and we didn't see Stephanie at all, so by they got back to it, I totally forgot they were on a date! Likewise, Melanie was MIA for at least a week and where the heck has Brady been? What about Abe, Lexie, and Theo? Are Max and Chelsea even speaking anymore? If these are the people they want us to invest in now, maybe they should appear on a more consistent basis.

Speaking of, why are they letting go of all the veteran actors? This is not the way to save the show. I'm not really sure why Days doesn't understand their audience wants to see 'legacy characters', not new ones they don't know. Instead of getting rid of fan favorites, why not trim the cast by letting go of some newer characters? Give Tony, Anna, Steve and Kayla actual stories to sink their teeth into and send some of the newer cast on an open-ended vacation. Because really, do we care about Melanie's inherited cold fusion project? And as much as I like Eric Martsolf, there was no reason to have brought Brady back. Don't even get me started on Daniel.

I guess Bo and Hope will be left to anchor the show, but their storyline is a  little convoluted right now. I want to find out why Bo is having these visions and where this story is going. Are his visions just a way to break them up for a bit because Bo didn't tell Hope about 'seeing' her shoot Kayla? If it is, that's pretty weak. **Spoiler Alert - highlight text to read**  I don't think Hope would get so upset she would move out of the house, as she will do next week. If anything, Hope should have known something was up considering she knows Bo is having visions and then out of the blue he instructs her not to see her friend/sister-in-law. Call me crazy, but Hope should have suspected something.

I have to admit, I'm not all that torn up about Steve and Kayla leaving. I'm not invested in them enough and while I do see the value in Tony and enjoy his interactions with EJ and Stefano, they don't use him enough for his leaving to feel like a loss. However, I recognize that by doing this, especially so close to John and Marlena's exit, it's bad for the show and for soaps. Days seems to be alienating their core audience by axing the vets instead of trying to keep them around to support the soap which is dangerously close to getting cancelled. I guess we'll see how it all pans out when their contract comes up in 2010.

So that's it for me this week. It should be interesting to see where Days is planning on going without much of their veteran cast. Hopefully TPTB have a master plan that will surprise us all.


January 23, 2009
John and Marlena leave Salem.... Days this week was mostly about John and Marlena reuniting and leaving town. Other things happened, but it was really all more of the same in my opinion, so I don’t have much new to comment on other than Jarlena.

I wish they didn't resort to another crazy person coming between John and Marlena in order to bring them back together. Why couldn’t it have just been a nice love story instead? How many injections, mind control tactics and craziness can one couple endure? Since Sandra Robinson is a good actress, why couldn't Charlotte have just helped John regain his memories and then stayed on to replace Marlena as the resident psychiatrist? Instead, we just got...

...Get the rest of Lori's Last Word - and chime in - on our blog!  

January 9, 2009
I'm not very excited about much these days on Days, however there are a couple of things that have piqued my interest:

* Bo's newfound psychic abilities. I don't know where they are going with this, but I am curious to see how it will play out. It's good to see him confide in Hope about it instead of trying to keep it a secret from her. This way they can have a storyline together where they are united on trying to figure out what's going on with him, instead of divided by it.

*  New couples: Max & Chelsea and Philip & Stephanie. I think these couples both have potential as the actors have great chemistry with their current pairing. I'm not too worried about Max & Chelsea, as I think they will go forward, but Philip & Stephanie have me a bit more worried. Philip is never allowed to really have a relationship. Either his wife (Belle) is really in love with someone else, or he just uses his women as dalliances. So I hope he doesn't get distracted by Melanie and continues to heat up the screen with Stephanie.

Here's where I am a bit more concerned or puzzled:

* Housebound Rafe. I still really enjoy the scenes with him, but he needs to get out of the safe house! The story needs to wrap up so we can see how he interacts with the rest of Salem. I also don't understand why he continues to put Sami in jeopardy by not getting medical attention for his fevers and knife wound. Don't you think he would want someone who can physically protect Sami to be around instead of a sick invalid?

* Nicole's baby fever. What have they done to her? She was so feisty, strong and funny and now she's a pathetic mess trying to keep her man. She's always had to scheme for love, but now she's just so desperate and weepy about it. I'm all for character development, so I understand Nicole can't stay the cold, unfeeling, money hungry, manipulator she was in the past, but they are ruining her in my opinion. She can love EJ and scheme to keep him, but let her keep her edge!

* Brady's purpose. On a positive note, I was so happy that he didn't go along with Nicole's plan to fool the pregnant girl into thinking he was Nicole's fiancé. I don't get why he is keeping quiet about her not being pregnant in the first place, so it really wouldn't make sense for him to blindly go along with her manipulation. However, I'm not quite sure why they brought him back. They need to give Brady his own storyline and some real purpose on this show.

* Missing Kate. Just like Nicole, she's losing her edge. She hasn't meddled in a bad way in one of her son's love lives in long time and she's been so nice lately. Yes, I  know she's been distracted by her cancer and she's been welcoming to Chloe because she donated bone marrow, but I think Sami needs to come back STAT to get Kate's blood boiling again.

* Stefano's soft side. Was anyone else confused by Stefano's reaction to Theo's hospitalization? He was actually weepy about it! That's not Stefano. Of course he is all about family, but in a controlling way, not an emotional way. I felt it was pretty bizarre for him to wear his heart on his sleeve, but maybe he's just getting sentimental in his old age.

And here are a few random thoughts:

* John and Marlena. There's nothing really new to say about them and the fact that they are leaving. It is quickly approaching so I will comment on it more later, but the only thing I have to say right now is that their scenes just make me want them to stay. It would also give Brady something more to do if his estranged father were around so they could work on their relationship.

* Chloe and Daniel. Nope! Still not digging them. They are just unsettling.

* Hilda. I love her. However, I fear her time is drawing to a close. Another good character whose time was too short. I will miss her and her sharp banter with Sami!

So that's it. Until next time!

December 12, 2008
So EJ jeopardized Sami's safety by contacting her while she's in a safe house just so he could dump her? How selfish of him to clear his conscious so he can move on with Nicole, while Sami is hiding out from a hitman and all alone. I can't believe Roman allowed that.

I have to laugh when Sami says how dangerous Stefano is. He has become so domesticated that I forget he's the big bad villain. Even his housekeeper isn't afraid of him. If he was that scary, wouldn't Mary be freaked out working for him? I do however like when he takes EJ to task for being such a pansy. I don't condone Stefano's illegal doings, but after listening to EJ whine about it, I wouldn't want to claim him as my son if I were Stefano either. EJ totally needs to get his edge back.

Thankfully, Nicole is becoming more and more complex and isn't becoming all whitewashed like EJ. As sad as I am for her to have lost the baby, she's going back to her manipulative ways by lying to EJ about the miscarriage and almost drugging Brady, but whereas in the past she wouldn't think twice about it, she now feels remorse, which makes her interesting again. I was a little worried about how nice she had become making friends with Chloe and falling in love with EJ, but now that she's got a secret to keep, she's back, but in a somewhat evolved way.

Random thought: Was Chloe really outraged that recovering addict Brady was at the bar? Um, hello! Lucas is a recovering alcoholic and he was there. With her!

It was really great to see some emotion from Brady when he railed at Nicole for almost drugging him, but he really needs a storyline. They should have had him come back to Salem with a secret or something to make us want to learn more about the new Brady, because right now, I'm not sure I care. I like Eric Martsolf and I enjoy his scenes, especially with Drake Hogestyn (John), and I like that he's getting more involved with Nicole, but if he's not on, I don't really miss him.

On the other hand, I always want to see Rafe. I was worried that they were doing the same thing with him and not giving him a backstory, but it seems there's more going on than just him guarding Sami. I was thrilled when Sami brought up his personal life and he blew it off, obviously not wanting to talk about it which makes me want to know more about him. I'm really liking his easy going banter with Sami and how he's usually one step ahead of her. Galen Gering is so much more charming on Days than he was on Passions and of course Rafe is a lot smarter than Luis ever was. I'll chalk that up to the writing on Passions; I guess there's only so many ways you can delver the same dialogue for weeks on end.

Here's a question: Why did the hit man stab Rafe before he could lead him to Sami? What kind of sense does that make?

This is in no way a spoiler, but does anyone else think Sami will give her baby to the nuns and Nicole will end up adopting it? I so hope that happens. Even though a so-called baby switch is a soap staple, I think that will definitely add a much needed twist to the story, but of course it will devastate Nicole when she eventually loses the baby to Sami.

While I loved seeing Trent back on screen (even if it was to berate a small boy), I have to believe he would not have kept that toy dog that he took from Max as a child. Nor would he have returned it to him. I gotta believe Trent would have thrown it away ASAP. And come on; did Trent really write Max a note apologizing? Not the Trent we knew!

Philip's payroll system is pretty slow if Melanie won't get paid for another month! And how arrogant of him to ask if that's a problem. Doesn't he know her situation? I'm  really not liking how Melanie is acting while working for Philip and I don't believe he ever would have hired her, but I do like Stephanie and Phillip. Their flirtatious banter in the vault was fun and I think there are definite possibilities for those two!

Wow! How inappropriate was Daniel's examination of Chloe? If that scene was supposed to be hot, it was lost on me because I thought it was creepy. I was originally intrigued by Chloe and Daniel, but not anymore -- Daniel has major issues and he's starting to make my skin crawl.

John was so sweet when he told his doctor he wanted to find a way to get Blondie back in his life. I guess this is the lead up to their reunion, but I'll be so sad to see John go. NuJohn is definitely my favorite character.

Well that my last word on Days. I'll be back with more in two weeks to dissect all the goings on. In the meantime, check out what Matt has to say next week!

November 28, 2008
I like the bond forming between Chloe and Daniel. Are they testing their chemistry? They seem to have dropped the ball on his friendship with Lexie, so could this just be a new friendship? Or is Daniel interested, since he was looking at her through the window? Or is he creepy? I'm not sure yet, but my interest is piqued.

I was wrong about not liking Nick being Trent's killer and stalking Melanie. It has turned into a great opportunity for the actors to actually act. Blake Berris is doing a great job portraying Nick's seemingly emotional breakdown and Suzanne Rogers is actually getting to do something as Maggie other than talk about her green restaurant. She's doing a great job.

Even though I don't really like Melanie, she has every right to hate Nick. Wouldn't you? I don't blame her for not wanting to visit Nick, or as Chelsea put it, "Have compassion for him." Chelsea expecting her to understand why Nick did the things he did to her was way out of line. Although, Melanie pushing her was just plain silly. If I were Melanie, I would move out of town. Why would she stay where no one likes her and she has no real ties? I guess it's because of Max, but they aren't exactly close and she doesn't show much interest in getting to know him better. I'd be like, "We'll email and you can come visit, but I'm out of here!" Regardless, good for her for giving it to Chelsea as good as she got.

My heart broke for Nicole this week. Arianne Zucker did an amazing job portraying Nicole's devastation over losing her baby. I was also happy to see that they made her look like she'd just been through an ordeal, instead of leaving a full face of makeup on her, like they did with Kate while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer. It's way more realistic. It seems Nicole is turning back to her old ways now that she's lying to EJ about the baby. I wanted her to have some edge, but I'm not sure this is the way I wanted her to go about reclaiming her bad ways. I do hope though, that they allow Nicole to confide in Chloe about her baby or something and deepen that friendship.

Since Brady helped Nicole through her crisis and he doesn't seem to have any real purpose yet, I wonder if he will come between Nicole and EJ. I can see these two together and since EJ and Nicole have cooled off, in my opinion, I wouldn't mind seeing them hook up. Since he knows Nicole lost the baby, will he keep the secret and therefore strengthen their bond?

I don't much care for Sami's storyline. I understand she's getting restless, but I don't think she would risk her life or her baby's life by leaving the house and going to the convent. Speaking of Sami, what's up with her bodyguard? Was Rafe spying on EJ and Hope just to find out more about the father of Sami's baby, or is there more going on? I so hope there's more going on, because he needs to be portrayed as more complex than just an FBI agent who is reluctantly protecting Sami.

Well, the good news is Days was picked up until at least 2010, but the bad news is the actors are dropping like flies. I was never a John and Marlena fan until John's personality change. I find Marlena to be sanctimonious and too involved in John's life, but I love the new John. He's funny and I will miss him. Nick is also leaving in January, which is too bad because now that he finally has an interesting story, he's out.  On the flip side, we thought we were losing Philip, but it seems he'll be sticking around. I would like to see him tap into his inner Victor more.

Random Thoughts:
Little Johnny is so cute! And he seems to really like James Scott (EJ). He looked so comfortable in James' arms. It was just precious.

So good to see Victor and Brady catching up, but what was with Chelsea and Brady? I don't remember them being close, or even knowing each other. Anyone else?

Kate looks amazing for a woman who just battled cancer, doesn't she?

The guy from Detroit who Chelsea met at the Brady Pub saying 'pop' was hilarious. I'm from the Detroit area and I can assure you we don't accentuate the word like he did. Besides, isn't Salem supposed to be near Chicago? I thought it was since they talk about going there a lot. I now live in Chicago and we say pop here too. Again I could be wrong about where Salem is supposed to be, but I thought it was strange.

Lucas and Chloe have no chemistry. They should break up stat!

Even though they didn't celebrate the holiday on the show, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I'll be back in two weeks with more of my Last Word on Days.

November 14, 2008
So far I like the addition of Galen Gering (Rafe) and Eric Martsolf (Brady) to the cast. Maybe I just needed something different to get me out of my Days rut, but I look forward to seeing what will happen with them. While I would like to see Rafe get out of the safe house and interact with more of the cast, I think he and Sami work well off each other. I'm liking that he isn't falling for any of Sami's schemes and doesn't give in to her crap. Whether or not they will become a couple or if I even want them to be one remains to be seen, but so far so good, well…except for Sami's childish behavior.

As for nuBrady, his first scene showed some promise for story between him and his father John. You could see the hurt in Brady's eyes when John didn't want anything to do with him. So it should be interesting to see their relationship develop. I loved Marlena's reaction to Brady's return. Since she helped raise him, it was great to see her so excited that he came home and treat him like her own. I also enjoyed his and Chloe's conversation and can't wait to see what happens with him and Nicole!

Is it my imagination or are both Galen and Eric better on Days already than they were on Passions? Maybe it was the writing or direction or just overall campiness of Passions, but I'm pleasantly surprised to see them both come on strong to Days.

Did anyone else notice how casually Hope joked, "I expect to get away with murder" to Bo because he is the new commissioner? And then Melanie said she will 'kill' the person making the threatening phone calls to her. Melanie was suspected of murder, her father was murdered and Hope is trying to find two murderers. Shouldn't they be more aware of how carelessly they use that word? Overall, not a huge deal, but it bothered me. 

Speaking of Trent's murder, I don't know how I feel about Nick being the culprit. Instead of covering it up, couldn't Nick have explained that he was protecting Melanie or that it was done in self defense? His cousin, Hope, is a cop and his cousin-in-law, Bo, is the new commissioner, I would think he would have plenty of understanding and empathy for his story. Also, he saved Melanie's life. So instead of scaring her into being with him, I would think that would make her grateful to him, or at the very least he could guilt her into being with him for a long time.  Mostly it just doesn't make sense for the character, which I suppose is where the pills he's taking will come into play. Maybe if Nick weren't still so whiny or wasn't just plain terrorizing Melanie when he's supposed to be in love with her, I would buy his transformation more. 

Kate battling cancer would probably be a lot more effective if she didn't have a full face of make up on and perfect hair. Days isn't exactly known for it's realism, but it's hard to get emotionally invested in these serious scenes when it looks like the character who is on the brink of death just came from the beauty salon.

I was confused to hear Stephanie say she left her friends and family for Max. When did that happen? She still lives in the same town and saw everyone she knows all the time.  How exactly did she give everything up for him?

It seems they are trying out a new couple in Philip and Stephanie. I don't see it, but I do want Philip to get some real lovin. The poor guy has been chemistry tested with everyone on the show. Let's settle on someone already! And are Max and Chelsea getting back together? I think I support that one. How about Chloe and Daniel? I could dig seeing how they are together.

Even though they are wildly uneven, EJ and Nicole were pretty cute this week. However, I'm not like the kinder gentler Nicole. I want her to remain a bit edgier. They did the same thing to Phyllis on The Young and the Restless. She was a bold, confident, take no crap kind of gal and then they paired her up with Nick. Those two had off the charts chemistry, but when Phyllis got pregnant, they domesticated her and she lost her edge. Sure she was still snarky every once and awhile and she tried to run her son's life, but she was far too nice and sweet and very un-Phyllis like. That's what they have done to Nicole. I like Nicole because she's not the good girl, but wants to be. If turn her into the good girl, nothing will make her stand out. I think she can be a good mother, but still keep the edge that makes Nicole, Nicole.

That's my take on the week. I can't wait to see who Brady interacts with next and I look forward to seeing more of him and Rafe – maybe we can get a Passions reunion and have them interact with each other! Shirts will be optional of course.

October 31, 2008
Incorporating Theo's autism into Abe running for Mayor is working for me. Although I don't really think the woman in the coffee shop would have reacted the way she did when Theo threw her coffee, I'm enjoying Lexi's mama bear stance. I liked that Theo was causing friction between Lexi and Abe and I wished they would have played that a bit longer. Maybe they will. And am I the only one who doesn't trust the reporter? Or am I just paranoid?

I do not care at all about who killed Trent or Melanie's role in it. I was, however, glad to see that Melanie didn't get away with her manipulations and scheming as Bo and Hope were on to her tricks this week. I'm so tired of soap teens, or young adults, mouthing off and getting the upper hand with the adults and veterans on their shows. First of all, not many teens talk that way to adults, especially to the parents of their friends or significant others. Secondly, it's refreshing to see the adults, in this case Bo and Hope, portrayed as smarter and more street wise than the young bucks, which they most definitely are.

However, I did not like Bo and Hope's badass routine with Nicole. They were too smug and tried too hard to make Nicole nervous. I'm pretty sure Nicole didn't kill Trent, so I feel bad for her that she's pregnant, sort of got EJ to come around and is now going to jail. Of course, now that Nicole is being accused of killing Trent, EJ is doubting Nicole again. He really needs to make up his mind where she is concerned. He has a shady past as well, which I think is why they originally bonded, so he needs to cut her some slack.

Someone who I don't feel bad for, but am enjoying immensely is Sami. She and her guards were pretty entertaining, especially the one played by Nick Tuturro. I wish he had been on longer because I enjoyed him playing off  Sami. Alison Sweeney played her scenes with both guards really well by down playing her actions and not going over the top with her attitude and disdain of being on lockdown. Those scenes could have been too campy, but the subtly of Sami's reactions to her captors were well done. However, drugging Hilda might not have bent the best idea, considering she was there to protect Sami. And just where did she get the drugs to put in Hilda's tea? Maybe I missed a scene, but wow, did she put a lot of those pills in there! I don't believe that tough FBI agents would scare off Sami so easily, but I am really looking forward to seeing how Rafe and Sami interact. Galen Gering already seems to by taking on a much smarter character than Luis on "Passions," so I'm excited to see where this is going.

Overall, I'm pretty bored with "Days" right now. So I'm really geeked about Galen Gering and Eric Martsolf (nuBrady) coming on to the show. Hopefully they will spice things up!

October 17, 2008
Another drama filled week has gone by in Salem and here's what stood out for me...

I like that Lucas was fairly calm about Sami's pregnancy and that he was amused at EJ getting Nicole pregnant as well. I love the low drama approach. After watching characters overreact (Lucas especially) for years on soaps, it's a nice change of pace for people to take things in stride. It makes me like them as characters more when they don't act out in response to the news they get and instead, have a rational discussion with whoever is giving them said news – in this case Sami. And after everything he and Sami have been through, he's being a good friend to her, which I appreciate.

Having the babysitter ruin Abe's press conference was a good move, however it was a little convoluted. As I've said before, I thought they should have included Theo's autism story into a larger one, making it more interesting. So I was happy to see that they did that with the babysitter and Abe's campaign, but how she did it and what she said fell a little flat to me. Her accusations were obviously that of a disgruntled former employee and anyone could see that. I think it would have been better and more realistic if she had simply accused Abe of sexual harassment. That happens all the time in politics and it would have given her more credibility, than her basically just accusing the Carvers of being bad parents because their autistic son didn't tell her that he was going for a walk. In my humble opinion, they should have had her hold her own press conference (under the direction of the mayor of course) to accuse Abe of coming on to her (instead of just giving her looks) and then firing her for not reciprocating.

Who is this Nicole? She's all sweet and demure asking if she can stay in the DiMera mansion. What happened to, "I can raise this baby on my own", or better yet, scheming and manipulating her way in? Last time, I said I would like to see her act like Miranda on "Sex in the City", this week I've changed my mind. I would like to see her act like Chloe   on "The Young and the Restless". Chloe solely looks out for number one (like Nicole used to), isn't necessarily maternal (like Nicole has never been) and is manipulating the crap out of her baby's daddy. That said, Chloe seems to genuinely care for her little bun in the oven and I would like to see Nicole act the same way. She doesn't have to lose the edge and snark that makes us like her just because she's pregnant.

While we're on the subject, I didn't really get why EJ was so hostile towards Nicole in the beginning of the week. He was all into her until he found out she got pregnant, then he acted like she betrayed him. He was the only person who knew exactly who Nicole was and what she's done in her past, yet still wanted her. Yes, he should have been cautious knowing her history, but to treat her like a criminal was just weird to me. I was glad to see him come around later on, but to have sex in the living room? Really? That place is like Grand Central Station and it was the middle of the day!

Kate ranting at Chelsea was fantastic! I concede that it's gross that you and your grandma slept with the same person, but Chelsea has been acting like a spoiled brat. I was so happy to see Kate act like the adult in the situation and tell her granddaughter what was up!  I also liked Kate and Daniel getting it on, again in a public place, but I digress. They have a more believable chemistry than Daniel and Chelsea ever did – at least in my opinion. They look like two adults having sex, instead of a creepy guy seducing a teenager.

I thought John was so sweet coming to Marlena to tell her he was giving up the DiMera life for her. She was genuinely touched and I just loved him for it.

And yet another 'name' actor comes to Days for a quick minute and leaves, or in this case dies. Why do they keep doing this? I don't care at all about Mayor Marino, but why does the show keep bringing quality people on only to kill them or send them off? How about we let a good actor stay awhile and let them do something.

Speaking of new actors, Days is getting two familiar faces (Eric Martsolf and Galen Gering) from Passions to fill out a couple of roles. I hope that they are given interesting storylines and get to stick around a while so we can get to know them and see what they can do in Salem.

October 3, 2008
I wasn't really fired up about anything this week, but here's what caught my attention…

Chloe and Lucas just started dating, so why would she consider giving up her career to help him take care of his kid? So far as I can tell, they aren't in love – they're just having sex. Who gives up their dreams for that? That being said, I was very happy Chloe took the gig Philip helped her get.

Nicole and EJ's first date was pretty lame. Would you really be impressed if the guy you're in love with suggested you dine in at a house where half the town lives? Not exactly the date he described a couple of weeks ago.

However, John's face was great when he learned Nicole was pregnant, but why was he so interested? I liked that he and Nicole commiserated about their relationships, and even though John  simply called it an alliance, I call it being girlfriends! Loved it!

I really hope they don't turn Nicole into a weak sniveling woman who battles for EJ's affections. Soaps have a way of reducing strong, interesting chicks into one-note man-crazy women. Nicole is a great, complex character right now, so I would like to see her portrayed as more like Miranda from "Sex in the City" where she's not exactly thrilled with the idea of being pregnant, but eventually and reluctantly, maybe a couple of months after the birth, she comes around to loving her bundle of joy. I think her resisting being a mom could provide for some good comedic moments and make her pregnancy more interesting than just the fact that E.J. got her and Sami pregnant at the same time.

Speaking of the double pregnancy, is this just a product of lazy writing? Did they just not know what to do with this triangle? I hate when men have kids all over town by several different women. I know it's only two different women so far for E.J., but he's heading down that path and he's already had baby drama with Sami. If they were going to make Nicole pregnant, fine, but I'd rather see Sami focus on getting a career, than getting knocked up again. Maybe she could start a "green" home business of some sort. She sports that eco-friendly water bottle around town enough, maybe she can sell a line of those.

Did anyone else think it was weird that Mickey, Maggie, Julie and Doug were standing around watching Nick and Melanie make out at Chez Rouge? Don't know about you, but I try to avoid watching my relatives, or anyone for that matter, engage in any kind of sexual activity.

I totally want Caroline to be Trent's killer (it would be the epitome of her mama bearness) and have Victor help get her out of this mess. Then they can finally get together after all these years! I know Victor has done some shady things and may not be worthy of the sainted Caroline, but he truly loves her and has been there for her lately, so I'm for it. While I'm on the subject of Caroline being a suspect, would Roman and Bo really be assigned to her case? Since they are her sons, and more than biased, wouldn't they specifically NOT be assigned to her case?

Speaking of parent/child relationships, why is Philip so against Daniel helping his mother? Philip accused him of hurting or betraying Kate or something, but they had a one-night stand. That's it. Kate wasn't in love with him when Daniel started dating Chelsea. I agree it was kind of a sleazeball move, but from what I understand, Kate wasn't looking for a relationship with him. If Philip is going to start pointing fingers, maybe he should point one at himself first. What was with that kiss with Chloe? Where did that come from? Morgan took it pretty well, though. I guess she had to since she is leaving the show. Don't know about you, but none of my breakups ever go that smoothly.

So that's my take on the week in Salem. What did you think? Please feel free to agree or disagree with me in the message boards!


September 19, 2008
I like John and Sami's relationship. They had a complicated one at best before, but now they seem to be more on the same wavelength and 'get' each other. John was the one Sami called for help from the police station, because she knew he would be the only one who would understand where she was coming from. Their alliance of sorts is kind of sweet and one that we will hopefully watch grow and evolve.

Speaking of Sami, it's about time someone told her to grow up! Nice work Marlena. EJ told her too, but Marlena was more effective.

The repeat of Nicole's fantasy? I didn't get it either, but what's up with her throwing up? Is she pregnant? I hope not. Not every woman needs to have a baby on a soap and would the baby be EJ's? If so, I think he has enough baby drama happening with Sami. Although, when's the last time we saw little Johnny?

My favorite scene of the week was when EJ was talking about his and Nicole's future date. Her expression was amazing. She cracked and let down her walls, showing emotion and vulnerability. You could really feel how much she wants to be loved and I thought that scene was incredible. 

Unfortunately, public service storylines aren't usually the most engaging on soaps, and Theo's autism story is no exception. The actors involved are doing a good job and I'm sure it's educating a lot of people on the issue, but it's a bit dry. I'm glad to see Lexie and Abe in other storylines as well, though, such as Stefano, the police station and the hospital, because they need other things to concern themselves with, so when Theo's problems do come up, it's not all they have to talk about. I hope now that Abe has resigned from the police force, he'll go all vigilante on Stefano. I for one would enjoy seeing Abe cross to the dark side for a bit.

I'm still upset about Trent's impending exit. Days wasted yet another good actor and interesting character. When he first came on the show, Trent showed a softer side when he talked to Melanie, as compared to the harsh uncaring side he showed his son, Max. Then after the 40's episodes and the hospital lock down stuff, he's pimping Melanie out. Huh? Another case of rewriting a character and completely wasting him. Trent's behavior with his daughter as compared to his son could have led to some complex storylines for all three of them. Max's anger over Trent doting on Melanie while treating him like dirt would affect his relationship with Melanie, Stephanie and everyone else he comes in contact with. Melanie could feel the guilt of being the 'golden child' and Trent could continue his charmingly evil ways. Then there's also Trent's story with Nicole. More could be explored there about their past, but alas, they ruined the hold he had over 'Nikki' when he asked her for money. I felt he was a real threat to her, until they made him weak by groveling for $20,000. I don't know about you, but I expected his debt to be a little more substantial.

In an article in Soap Opera Digest, Roscoe Born (Trent) alluded to the fact that they basically wrote him out to make room for Stefano's return. This is too bad, because to me, Stefano just isn't a real threat. Half the town lives in the same house with him and Kate has no problem casually visiting with him, which makes him a whole heck of a lot less scary. I know Kate has a past with him, but shouldn't villains of Stefano's caliber be a little less accessible? It just takes away from any impending doom he is supposed to impose. It's hard to be scared when he tells everyone, "I'm putting you on notice." Till when? They all have breakfast together the next morning? I think Trent is a more real and effective bad guy, but the writers have reduced him to what's shaping up to be nothing more than a 'who-dun-it?' I'm very disappointed.

Ah, well. There will be other stories and bad guys to enjoy and I'm sure Roscoe Born will turn up like he always does on another soap. Until then, I will enjoy his performance as the sleazy Trent Robbins and assume his bookie is the one who kills him.

September 5, 2008
I was so thrilled to see Paul this week. Even under custody, Paul totally had the upper hand with Philip. Philip seemed desperate next to Paul, who was calm, collected and newly enlightened. Philip was SO out of his league. And then came the realization that it was the last we would see of him. It was so disappointing! It was nice of Paul to take the hit and go to jail in order to protect his daughter, but he was the only interesting thing about this storyline and now he's gone. I was also hoping to learn more about his relationship with Morgan and his ex-wife. But, he's only going to jail, so he can always be brought back.

Not only is Paul gone, but word came that Morgan would be leaving the show as well. I was surprised to learn this, as I thought they were pursuing a Morgan/Philip pairing, but apparently not. I was happy Philip was finally going to get a girlfriend, but where does this leave him now? Will he go sniffing around Chloe again? Or will he just concentrate on business and become even meaner and more vindictive like his old man?

Max, Stephanie and even Melanie need to get to Salem. They're wasting the precious time they have left with Trent, not letting him interact with his kids. Seeing how different he is with Max, as compared to Melanie, adds to the rich dynamics of the character. I haven't been loving Melanie, but she could turn out to be an okay character. She was far more interesting when she let her guard down with Max and during that mysterious phone call.

I was just starting to come around to Daniel and Chelsea as a couple and now they are seemingly over. I thought it was really cute and kinda hot when Chelsea started to seduce him last week, but now they are done. Now that Chelsea is going to Paris, will she and Nick get back together? I hope not. Nick has been abused by her enough. And will Daniel and Kate hook up now? Who knows, but what's up with Kate's cough? Some new mysterious illness, or life threatening disease? Looks like it's back to the hospital for her. Paging Dr. Jonas?

When Marlena told Trent, "I love that boy," in regards to Max, it got me thinking. Have Marlena and Max even shared a scene together? I was glad she didn't fall for Trent's "charms" and stood up for Max, but I  really can't remember them ever interacting, so I'm a little unclear on her "motherly" love for Max.  I could be wrong though.

It seems like parts of the old John are coming back, as he is totally into Marlena now. He's kind of over doing it, so it's hard to adjust to the 180 he's done, which is why I don't blame Marlena for blowing him off.  I just hope she doesn't get caught up in Trent's evilness in reaction to John. 

You go Abe! I loved that scene with Abe and Daniel. He may have been overreacting when he found the stud doctor with his wife, but it's not like Abe doesn't have reason to doubt Lexie. Abe's anger was very controlled with Daniel, which is always more effective, and then he let the hurt wash over his face when he told Lexie he didn't quite trust her. I like seeing the take-charge side of Abe and am glad he's finally letting out his frustration over all of his wife's infidelities, like a real person would.

I appreciated the conversation between Maggie and Chloe about rebounds and dating someone who has children. That was a pretty realistic conversation, or at least, realistic concerns. Then Chloe met up with Nicole and it got even better. And, in my opinion, any scene with Nicole is a good one. When the newly formed friends got to the bar, they overheard Lucas saying Chloe could be Allie's stepmother someday. Good Lord, they've only been dating a couple of weeks. Slow down there big fella! Nicole was surprisingly insightful and Chloe's remarks about not being ready to be a mother were refreshing. Not every woman jumps at the chance to be a mom and it's nice to see that reflected once in awhile.

Across the bar Nicole spotted EJ and told him to make up his mind in regards to her and Sami. That was fantastic, because she did it in such a strong way. She wasn't overly emotional, or needy. She told him how it was and that he needs to get his act together!  They have so much chemistry and I just love them together. All Sami does is whine and nag EJ, I would think the decision would be pretty easy to make.

There were some major let downs in regards to characters leaving this week. Paul was sent jail, Morgan is on her way out and Trent will soon follow. As Trent and Paul were/are two of my favorite characters on this show, I guess I will have to give all of my devotion to EJ and Nicole now. The powers that be better not screw that one up for me!


August 22, 2008
This week was mostly about not moving the story forward in case it was pre-empted due to the Olympics. If you missed any of Days, you missed some John and Marlena flashbacks, a visit from Marlena's dead sister, two '40's inspired episodes and a mysterious purple haze infiltrating the hospital.

Here are the top ten things that struck me during these filler episodes...

...To read the rest of Lori's Last Word and see if you agree or disagree with her top 10 list, visit SOF's new blog spot! (link fixed!)

August 8, 2008
I'm not overly fond of the Melanie story, but I did enjoy seeing a new side to Trent when he talked to her. He seemed almost human! This just adds more intrigue to Trent's character and I think it will be interesting to see how things play out when Melanie comes to Salem. I'm just thinking out loud here, but could Melanie be Nicole's daughter and that's why Trent doesn't want Nicole to know what's going on in France? Does that even work with their ages?

Stefano's awake and Marlena got attacked. It seems like the same old same old with this. I'm not too excited about Stefano's return. I'd prefer to just see John snarking and making snide comments to everyone, EJ continuing his affair with Nicole and Tony doing whatever it is that he does rather than them worrying about "Father."

Bo and Hope's vow renewal. I really am stumped on this one. It came out of the blue and didn't seem to have much purpose. It's not a milestone anniversary year and no one's dying or anything, so why now and why so sudden? I would think Bo had other things to worry about what with him suppressing evidence to protect his little brother, which of course did come around to bite him in the butt after the ceremony.

While this wedding seemed forced, clips of their early nuptials reminded me of how great romances and weddings were in the 80's. Weddings definitely have lost some of their impact and awe over the years and the era of supercouples is long gone, but it's nice to be reminded of how it used to be. Seeing how young Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso were in those scenes, I wondered what the actors think when they see these clips. While we mere mortals have a few home videos and photos to remind us of our baby faces and poor fashion choices, actors, especially on soaps, have years of footage chronicling every awkward stage of their lives. I wonder if they enjoy seeing how they used to look or cringe at wondering who had the bigger hair, Peter or Kristian?

Now that Paul's back, I want to know more about him. I hope they bring Morgan's mother on and they explore their relationship, especially after the backstory we got regarding her parent's marriage. I was surprised Philip told Morgan about him threatening her father. Did he really expect her to understand? I suppose it's just a hurdle being thrown at them on their way to true love, which as we all know makes it more fun to watch. I hope they eventually make up though, because I think these two are sweet.

Ava left town this week. I expected her to have a bigger exit - maybe get a little devious with Marlena over John or something. I would have also liked to have seen her interact with Nicole again. I liked their dynamic. At least the door is open for her return, but I think more could have been done with her before she left.

I wonder what they're going to do with Sami now considering both her men seem to have moved on. Could she possibly be paired with someone new or will they put her back with EJ or Lucas? I personally hope they pair her with someone new. I've never really cared for the character of Lucas and while I was a fan of Sami and EJ's, I like EJ and Nicole so much more! I guess we'll find out soon enough!


July 25, 2008
Since this was not the most exciting week in Salem, I decided just to highlight what caught my attention. Here is a list of the top 10 things that piqued my interest - good or bad.  

  1. I dug Ava and John getting it on, but I could have done without the foot rub the next day.
  1. Kayla and Steve really need something to liven them up again. They used to be a fun exciting couple. What happened?
  1. Chelsea and Daniel are actually starting to grow on me! They were kinda sweet on the apartment rooftop. But I do not like that she now has her grandma's sloppy seconds. Ew!
  1. I'm loving the scenes between Bo and Philip. They never really interacted much before, but with Bo feeling torn between his family and his job, and Philip's combination of arrogance and guilt, their multilayered scenes are great to watch!
  1. Kudos to Bo, or should I say Peter Reckell this week, as not only is he doing a believably angsty job in his scenes with Philip, but he's really selling his awkward, disapproving scenes with his daughter's boyfriend, Daniel, too.
  1. How great was Anna and Kate commiserating over their poor parenting skills? In the same vein as Ava and Nicole, watching two women bond (well sort of bond, in Kate and Anna's case) is rare in soaps and always a treat for the viewers. And how funny was Anna's line, "At least only one of your children is in jail!" How comforting!
  1. Um, what was the point of the pickpocket on the train with Stephanie? Is there more to the story there? And how could Steph so easily get over fearing she was going to be raped again and just go on about her day eating breakfast with Max? I would think that event would have been a little more traumatizing.
  1. I really think Marlena needs to cut her losses when it comes to John. I mean, stop obsessing, accept that old John is gone and move on! He has.
  1. Isn't Kayla a doctor? I get that she's worried for her son, but shouldn't she be able to handle bringing preemie Joe him home since she is a trained professional and knows what to do in case of an emergency?
  2. I wonder if Philip taking a bullet for Morgan will finally seal the deal for these two. Enough dancing around each other and just get together already! I'm ready to see Philip in a real relationship and having fun, instead of all his brooding and plotting.

And on to next week, where hopefully Philip getting shot will liven up the place. Although, now that I think of it, that just puts us back in the hospital where we've been for what seems like the entire last year. Has anyone in Kate's family not been admitted in the last six months?  

July 11, 2008
Enough with the flashbacks already! Morgan flashed back to saying goodbye to her dad, Nicole flashed back to her relationship with Victor, and Max flashed back to almost an entire episode of butting heads with Trent and then talking to his deceased father. It's nice to catch people up on things, i.e., Nicole and Victor's relationship, but did we really need a whole replay of Max going through Trent's room again? It just happened! Nicole and Victor were years ago, so yes, remind long time viewers and introduce new viewers to what transpired between them, but please stop showing me minutes long flashbacks from last week's episodes.

Although, seeing a flashback of Nicole and EJ having sex in the elevator is something I might not complain about. I love the two of them and thought their romp was sexy and then sweet. It's so great to see Nicole's vulnerable side and watch EJ start to genuinely care for her. Now that they are starting something, Trent is getting involved and putting an end to it, which of course only adds to their appeal and rooting value. And lets not forget how fun it is to watch Sami stew over it.

I'm not quite as excited about Nicole and & EJ's sex elevator neighbors, Chloe and Lucas, but why exactly is Phillip so angry that Chloe had sex with his brother? Okay, yes, male pride and all that, but he's clearly becoming interested in Morgan, so let Chloe have some fun too! He's kind of becoming the male Sami, wanting his cake and eating it too.

Victor and Caroline are cute, so why can't we see them go out on a date instead of him ending up in the hospital? Haven't we spent enough time there lately? Speaking of, what was the reason behind giving Kate that medical condition? They could have alluded to her and Daniel's "connection" some other way.

 ***Spoiler Alert*** (highlight to read) And poor Chelsea! What is she going to do when she finds out that Daniel and Kate slept together? How will she cope, especially after her mom slept with Nick? And really, who sleeps with the same guy as their GRANDMOHTER?! Instead of going down that same road, why can't Kate have a past with Trent, or at least cross paths with him? I bet they would have some amazing chemistry! The only thing I can hope for is that after Chelsea learns what happened between Kate and Daniel she will get some of her feistiness back. I'm glad that she has softened some from when she first came on the show, but I want her to reclaim her edge. This puppy dog love she has for Daniel has her going backwards with her, "You know me better than I know myself" speech (blech!) rather than becoming the edgy, independent woman she should be.  I don't know, maybe I'm just jaded, but I like my women to be able to fend for themselves and figure out their own paths. I think Chelsea should team up with Sami so both women can get their scheming back on!

It appears Tamara Braun (Ava) has taped her last scenes as Ava, which leads me to wonder how she will leave the show. I hope she doesn't retreat into her craziness and try and kill Marlena or something. I would like her to go out remaining Nicole's friend and flirting with John. She has great chemistry with both actors and I hope to see her return some day as the sane, yet complex character she has become.

June 27, 2008
There was a lot of good stuff this week, but I absolutely loved Lucas and EJ completely dismissing Sami! It was hilarious when EJ and Lucas left Sami alone in the living room to go talk amongst themselves. Wouldn't it be great if they became friends? And how self-centered is Sami! She wants EJ to move out so she can be with Lucas, but yells at him for almost sleeping with Nicole. That scene was fantastic! Lucas and EJ's reactions were perfect by not giving in to Sami's selfishness. It's a nice surprise to see Lucas playing things cavalierly with Sami instead of acting jealous. Love it!

Nicole really impressed me this week too. When she first returned she was way too over the top and one-dimensional for me, but now we're seeing all these different layers and she's becoming one of my favorite characters. I really felt for her in the scenes with Trent and can't wait to find out more about their past together. Speaking of Trent, that's how you bring a new character to the show! Give him connections with more than one person, make it mysterious and of course cast someone fantastic like Roscoe Born. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love him!

I am not a fan of Daniel and Chelsea, but I actually liked their date at the restaurant because it was realistic. They were awkward with each other and made ridiculous small talk. Isn't that the way a lot of first dates are, even if you already know the person beforehand? I appreciated that it wasn't all smooth and sexy and fun, that is until they got to the hospital. It was funny that he kept telling her he was on call and added, "Did I tell you that already?"

On a more serious note, Abe and Lexie found out Theo is autistic. I applaud the show and Dena Higley (head writer) in particular for sharing her personal story and getting the word out on the disorder. However, PSAs can be tough to make interesting and I hope this story involves more than just, "This is what autism is." Hopefully they'll incorporate other people into the storyline, aside from therapist/friend Marlena and create drama stemming from the reveal.

One of the best things Days has going for it right now is that they keep mixing characters up. It looks like Marlena is going to get mixed up with Philip and Victor in her fight to get John back, while Ava seems to be pushing her own agenda with John. Chloe and Lucas are forming quite an alliance that from what I understand will only get more interesting and it looks like Philip and Morgan will follow suit. Now they just need to find a way to make Steve and Kayla interesting again and incorporate Tony and Anna into some of this intrigue and all will be well in Salem!

June 13, 2008
My biggest disappointment watching Days this week was realizing that Linden Ashby (Paul) and Tamara Braun (Ava) are leaving. I've said it before, but now that Ava isn't crazy anymore, she's a complex character I like to watch on screen. She clicks in her friendship with Nicole and I even like her with John. There are a lot of possibilities with her, but alas she'll be gone this summer. As will Paul. His exit is more imminent, but in my opinion just as disappointing. His scenes with John and Philip are compelling and when he's with his daughter Morgan, he's sweet and conflicted. Whether it's the actors' choice or TPTB's decision for them to leave, it's definitely a loss for the viewers.

Since the big names Days has been bringing on haven't been long term, I have to wonder what's in store for Roscoe Born (Dean Robbins). The big reveal of why Max is so angry with him is coming up and if you don't like spoilers I won't ruin anything here, but I will say it is pretty obvious what the connection between the two is. Born is a fantastic bad guy and it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, and how long he'll stick around Salem. I hope it's for longer than a couple of months.

Can I just ask again: What was the point of brining Joe Penny on to play Ava's dad? It was a blink-and-you-missed-it moment and has had no lasting repercussions. The biggest let down was that they teased us with a good storyline for Kate and it went nowhere. Speaking of Kate, does anyone else think she is the woman Daniel was referring to when he told Chelsea he was involved with someone? Their scenes lately have led me to believe there's more going on than meets the eye.

Back to the Dean, I appreciate Days' attempts at being eco-friendly, but how many times are they going to say "cold fusion"? It's amusing to me that they are building a dramatic story around it.

I am loving that they are mixing up the cast so much. Philip's got his fingers in several different pots, Nicole is causing friction all over town and John is snarky with everyone! How great was John's scene with Hope when he asked her for details on their romp? It's fun to see variety in characters and to watch them interact with people they usually don't. Even Lucas, who is housebound had a run in with Paul and formed a bond with Chloe while spying on her on the docks. Keeping things fresh and exciting is definitely a good way to kick off the summer!

May 30, 2008
Nicole and Ava friends? I like it! They both could use a girlfriend since they are pretty much hated by everyone in town. I loved Ava's reaction to Nicole forcing herself on her with photos of Pooky. It was pretty much how anyone would react and it was priceless. It would be great if this friendship allows the audience to see what's truly beneath their tough as nails exterior.

Lucas returned with a bang, but would the court really allow him to serve out his house arrest in the home of the man he shot? Um, I don't think so, but of course if that didn't happen there would be no drama. I hope Lucas doesn't forgive Sami anytime soon though, because I think he could use another lady in his life, at least for awhile. I'm not sure who else I'd like to see him with, but hopefully the writers will play around with this for awhile. I can only imagine how severely Sami's head will explode if she has to deal with her jealousy over EJ and Nicole and then Lucas and whomever he flirts with. Although, how does one date while under house arrest?

I am finding Marlena to be completely overbearing when it comes to John. She second guesses him and tells him what to do ALL the time. Every time he turns around – there she is!  If I were John, I wouldn't have forgiven her so quickly for sticking a needle in me. It looks like she's heading out of town next week though and I think it will be a nice break for John so he can have a little breathing room.

I'm not that emotionally involved in Tony and Anna, but I was a little confused as to why Anna is quitting her job just because she got married? I realize their companies are competitors, but that doesn't mean she has to quit. Wouldn't their cat and mouse games at work add a little spice to their bedroom games? On the same note, I'm not overly involved in Kayla and Steve's story, but I do have to wonder if Steve will ever get a job. I guess since Kayla's a big time doctor, they don't have to worry about money, but I'd like Steve to get some purpose. Maybe he could be a stay at home dad when Little Joe gets out of the hospital.

I had to laugh at Daniel's guys' night out at Chez Rouge. First of all I don't see a fine dining establishment being the first place guys would go to hang out and do shots. And what kind of place gives their patrons the WHOLE bottle to drink from at their discretion? Daniel had like 4 shots of tequila in twenty minutes and then when he was leaving, his buddy said, "Drive safely." Are you kidding me? I may be a light weight and would have been drunk after the first shot, but four within a half hour is enough to get anyone drunk! With all the talk about environmental responsibly that went on that episode, how about a little alcohol responsibility?

The best part of this week was Roscoe Born's first appearance as Dean Robbins. I love this actor and hope he's another "shades of gray" type. He plays a baddie like no other and it should be fun to see what he has up his sleeve. Does anyone else think he and Kate might have some smokin' chemistry? I also can't wait to find out why Max is so smart, but isn't doing anything with his intelligence and why he's keeping it a secret. I'm really looking forward to watching this storyline unfold and hope it lives up to its promise.

May 16, 2008
This week brought about the end of Martino Vitali. He was here for what, two weeks? What exactly was the point of bringing Joe Penny on as Ava's father if they were just going to kill him in a matter of days? With Penny in the role, he had potential to be a dynamic character, but there was no time to get invested in him. We barely care about Ava, so why do we care that her father killed her mother, put her on drugs and is now dead? And what was the point of giving him a backstory with Kate? Unless his death leads to something more for Kate, that was a huge tease for fans who have wanted to see her do more than meddle in her children's lives. Maybe if Bo had killed Vitali out of pure revenge for his "Pop", instead of in self defense, the mobster's death would have been interesting, but since that's not what happened, it was pretty anti-climactic.

I still can't get behind Chelsea and Daniel. There are literally 20 years between the actors and while sometimes that works, when the girl barely looks like she's twenty-years-old and looks like she's making out with her father, it doesn't. And really, she's in LOVE with him already? A crush? Sure. Attracted to him? Absolutely. But in love? I don't think so.

Philp's transformation since Belle left has been fantastic. I've never really liked him as a character, but he's become much more intriguing now that he's not obsessed with Belle. With Victor giving him more control in the family business, it should be interesting to see where he goes from here. And of course, he still has his pick of the ladies, which is always fun! I liked Philip and Victor's conversation about Philip's past. It's nice when the writers let characters remember things they've done... like being in a war.

I was glad to see Sami and EJ address the fact that he raped her, but now they're back to their flirtatious banter. I think they have fantastic chemistry and I understand the writers have to redeem EJ, but it is a little difficult to get over. If the writer's are smart, they will take a page from General Hospital's script and not let this be the last time they discuss the rape. Luke and Laura are one of the most popular couples from GH, if not all soaps, and they began with a rape. Laura of course forgave Luke and they had decades of love and adventure. However, the rape also provided them with years of drama as they had to address the issue with their son and then years later, with their daughter. GH didn't forget the couple's history and it continues to be a sore spot for the Spencer family. If Sami and EJ stay on Days until the writers age their children, I hope they'll let the characters address the issue with their son.

I have to say, as much as I enjoy EJ and Sami's chemistry, the sauna scene with EJ and Nicole piqued my interest. If EJ and Sami don't make it, they might have something in EJ and Nicole. Two morally ambiguous characters searching for love and acceptance could be fun to watch.

Lucas returns next week and Mickey even makes an appearance! It's kind of like the Joe Penny thing, why bring on Kevin Dobson and then proceed to not use him? Hopefully, that will change soon. Anyway, Lucas's release from jail should provide some serious drama, especially since Sami just gave into her feelings for EJ. Can't wait to see the fireworks when Lucas gets home!

May 2, 2008
First I have to say how thrilled I am that Days wasn't left out of the Emmys again this year. After a four-year drought, it was nice to see four actors from the show being nominated, especially considering how CBS dominates again this year. What is it with that network? I think they have amazing actors, but the other networks do too! All three ABC shows only received one acting nomination each (!), while CBS has three from one show in a certain category and not one of them deserves it over an actor from ABC (in my opinion). If you follow CBS and saw the nominations you know who I mean.  At least Days did well, but I was surprised to see Thaao Penghlis (Tony) receiving a Lead Actor nomination and Judi Evans (Bonnie/Adrienne) getting a nod as well. But no matter who got nominated, at least Days is in the race this year.

So happy that Joe Penny make his debut as Ava's father. He already seems believable and at ease in the role and I think he'll bring an interesting element to the show. It's certainly time Salem had a new bad guy, because you can only blame the DiMeras for so much. And the Kate connection is an intriguing twist. I can see where they could have some good chemistry. 

While I'm happy to see Mr. Vitali enter the scene, I'm even happier that Ava's craziness is fading. Of course with the reveal that she's been drugged, nothing she did will be her fault, which is kind of a cop out, but Tamara Braun is a good actress and I think she'll be far more interesting as a sane person. But really, Kayla is her doctor? The woman whose husband Ava has been trying to steal and whose father Ava inadvertently killed? Yeah, no conflict of interest there.

I still can't get behind Dr. Jonas and Chelsea. He's too old for her and his character just doesn't work for me. I did however think Stephanie and Max were sweet this week and even though they're technically related, I am looking forward to seeing what's in store for them. But if I were Stephanie, I certainly would not have left my warm bed where a hot Max was curled up next to me telling me how fabulous I was to yell at my friend's doctor for taking himself off her case! I'd wait for another time to pretend Dr. Jonas was a frat boy who stood Chelsea up instead of an adult doctor.

The comedy continued this week and I truly enjoy John more every day. His interactions with almost everyone are humorous, especially Rolf. It also looks like he started to remember his life as Roman Brady and he now has the disk, but I hope that doesn't mean he'll revert to his old self. Sami and EJ were also fun to watch when they were discussing how well they know each other to prove to the INS that they are a true married couple. Those scenes were sweet, fun and sharply written. The actors have great chemistry and I'm rooting for them to prevail when Lucas returns from jail.

The reveal that Victor was behind Brady's disappearance and set Chloe up was a great twist, but how will they keep Brady away from Salem once he's clean and sober? Since his original portrayer Kyle Lowder is on another soap, will they eventually recast or leave his character off canvas? I'd like to see Chloe forge a new relationship, although not with Philip as I like him with Morgan. But I definitely want to see more of Chloe and Nicole! I thought the scene of Nicole filling Chloe in on Victor was wonderfully done, as the women were catty, but they also showed glimpses of humor and civility.

To me, there's nothing better than well-played humor on a soap.


April 19, 2008
Nicole said it best this week when she remarked, "The new John is more interesting." He was just always so good before. Even through all his various incarnations, John has always been at his core the beacon of goodness. With this John, we aren't really sure where he's coming from or what his motives are. Shades of grey are always more intriguing than absolute goodness or absolute evil and to me, that's what makes this latest version of John the best one yet.

That's also why I'm loving Philip right now. When he was married to Belle, he was too good. When he tried to steal Claire from Shawn and Belle he was too evil. There was no real personality. Now, he's just right - flirtatious with Morgan, hardnosed with John and sort of protective of Chloe. He's not all one thing and that makes me want to find out what's really going on. Speaking of Morgan, I'm liking their dynamic. Their banter on Friday was fun and she didn't take any of his crap. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these two.

I also can't wait to learn more about Morgan and her father. Again, Linden Ashby's Paul has shades of grey. He's done illegal things and is playing hardball with John and Philip, but he's sweet with his daughter, so we can see he's not a total bad guy. I wasn't sure about the character of Morgan during the sorority stories, but Kristen Renton is proving to be quite a good actress and is making me care about what's up with Morgan and her parents.

While I'm on the subject of ambiguous moral character, I really hope they don't totally reform EJ. The appeal of his character is that he's got edge. Yes, raping Sami was going too far and they needed to make him likeable again, but hopefully they won't go overboard. When James Scott was on All My Children he played Ethan, who was a good guy to the extreme and he was boooring! When he came to Days, he had so much more spark and electricity as the enigmatic EJ and I truly hope they don't ruin that.  

I was so glad Bo and Kayla got out of the hospital, even if they just ended up stuck at Ava's compound. I enjoyed watching this brother and sister team up together and use their mom as a getaway driver. So many soaps tend to forget people are related that it was nice to see some familial bonding, but it would have been even nicer if Roman joined them, making it a Brady triple threat.

That's all the good stuff: The bad for me this week was Ava's reveal of how she ended up crazy. So Patch left her at the altar... get over it! How many times has Sami been left standing there without a groom? Ok, so maybe Sami did turn into Stan, but she was never completely off her rocker. I could buy the fact that Patch dumping her sent her to the loony bin, but she ended up killing Grandpa Shawn, kidnapping Hope and now wants everyone dead, just because Patch broke her heart. Not only don't I buy it, but I feel let down after all that build up. Here's hoping there's more to the story.


April 11, 2008
Despite Marlena's best efforts this week, including hypnosis, it seems the new John is here to stay. I for one couldn't be happier. John's new stoic personality suits Drake Hogestyn's acting style much better and... he's funny! I hope old John never resurfaces and Marlena finds a way to fall in love with this new version of her husband, which is where they seem to be headed. I think this has been a great way to put the spark back in this couple, who had quite honestly become boring and were on the back burner for some time. 

As for another couple, it looks like Chelsea and Nick are in for another break up courtesy of Dr. Jonas. I'm not sure how I feel about his character, as I think they're trying too hard to make him seem hip. He drinks energy drinks instead of coffee! He surfs! He drives the most cutting edge hybrid! We get it, he's a doctor and he's cool. However, what I really take issue with is he's one more reason to not to get invested in Chelsea and Nick. The writers have never really been behind their coupling, despite the potential they possess. The nerdy science geek and the reformed bad girl are a classic example of opposites attracting, and the actors have great chemistry. But between Nick sleeping with Chelsea's mom, Chelsea's attraction to Jett and newest potential hurtle Dr. Jonas, I don't feel like Chelsea and Nick have been given room to be a real couple we can root for.

Aside from bringing on Shawn Christian to play Dr. Jonas, the show has recently hired several other name actors, such as Tamara Braun (Ava), Linden Ashby (Paul), Kevin Dobson (Mickey) and now Joe Penny, who I think will do a wonderful job as Ava's controlling mobster father. Even if the hiring of all these recognizable faces is just the-powers-that-be's desperate attempt to draw in viewers, they've certainly done a great job of bringing quality actors to the show. I just hope they use them wisely. Tamara obviously has a lot to work with, although Ava's starting to become one note. I hope her headaches and blocked memories lead to something interesting and add more layers to her. Linden seems to be picking up steam as Paul with talk about his divorce, problems with the law and his relationship with his daughter Morgan, so he could be worthwhile. However, Kevin's Mickey isn't exactly worthy of this veteran actor so far. I'm hoping they give him more to do than just walk around Chez Rouge butting into E.J. and Sami's business.

Speaking of bringing name people to the show, Arianne Zucker returned as Nicole. I'm not sold on her return just yet, but I am enjoying the friction between her and Sami. It's nice to see the fight back in Sami after months of her crying and actually being the good girl. I'm glad they've matured Sami's character and have made her more likeable and less conniving, but Sami was starting to lose her edge. It seems to be coming back though, and with Nicole zeroing in on E.J., the claws should hopefully stay out for some time!

April 4, 2008
I'll chime in next week. In the meantime, check out Matt's Musing for this week and my Last Word on Passions!

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